3.08.2008

Scale Matters



I still have no fucking clue what half of this Ralph Wiley column means, but with the T-Mac renaissance on, I find myself returning to it anyway.

I've said plenty before that no one's failures drain me quite like McGrady's. The flipside of that, which I never thought we'd see again, is that his highs can make your whole gut heave with joy. It's like that ecstatic quality the 2004-05 Suns had, or the Warriors during last year's run, made personal instead of ideological. It's not just thrilling and expansive, it's also hopeful.

I guess that's sentimental, or shows the softer side of sports, but emoting isn't supposed to have victims. Oh also, T-Mac playing like this is must-watch for me the way those Suns or Warriors are.

And no, hope isn't an ideology, it's a bottomless appeal. That's why Obama works so well.

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14 Comments:

At 3/09/2008 12:53 AM, Blogger gavin said...

Completely off topic but I love how the caption reading "How long is T-Mac? Why don't you ask Chauncey." is actually for a picture of Michael Curry. Why? Because Michael Curry played like the exact opposite of Chauncey. Anyways....

 
At 3/09/2008 1:23 AM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

It's weird how when FD constructs a quasi-masturbatory pop culture metaphor about a player, it's cool, but when ESPN does it, it seems disingenuous and false. Kind of like when Panic at the Disco covered Karma Police . . .

 
At 3/09/2008 1:53 AM, Blogger Zeke said...

There was nothing disingenuous and false about Ralph Wiley.

 
At 3/09/2008 4:37 AM, Blogger Matt said...

That's one of my favorite articles ever, but maybe that's because I understand the whole damn thing.

I guess you could say that paul atreides never really got out of the first round either; he just paved the way for the Golden Path. So where's T-Mac's metaphorical son?

 
At 3/09/2008 4:48 AM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Ralph Wiley was the only good thing about espn.com, and that article has remained one of my favorite pieces. I think of it as proto FD.

T-Mac is my sleeper favorite. There was a time when I wanted to want to ride his glory to the next era of the NBA, but there was always a hesitation in that desire for all the reasons that are Tracy. But now it's too late for the sleeper to awaken, and there are rumors of a new prophet in the desert. They whisper the initials LBJ.

 
At 3/09/2008 5:10 AM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Ralph Wiley is the truth dot org.

 
At 3/09/2008 3:30 PM, Blogger rebar said...

LBJ is the sand worm or the spice, not the next leader of fremen.

at one point i thought it would be gerald green, especially when he got moved to houston. now i have a hunch it will be the man from Mercer Island, Kevin Durant. he has a similar glint in his eyes, he's long more than strong (at least so far), and he could take the game of the fremen places it has never been before.

the fremen will always have a tragic and underdog spirit, and as hard as he tries to be blue collar on the court, Lyndon Baines Johnson can never be an underdog. he is the white wall thrown up against the ishmaels/ahabs/queequays of the L, an immovable force of nature.

 
At 3/09/2008 11:27 PM, Blogger padraig said...

my favorite line - "McGrady housed Billups like an octopus houses a crab" - it sounds like a Kool Keith simile circa '89 or so. i also enjoyed the suggestion that Gordan Giricek looked like a Fremen. and Ralph Wiley's sidebar summation of dune in a few tidy paragraphs. actually, the entire article was immensely enjoyable. I know he was twice as old when he died but Wiley was still the Biggie of sports journalism.

being a huge dork who read all the Dune books (the original ones by Frank Herbert, anyway) I would have to disagree that Paul Atreides never made it out of the first round. he's more like Charles Barkley, actually. both of them played on one great team of aging veterans (Malone/Dr. J Sixers, Atreides), went on to greater success with their 2nd teams (Suns, Fremen) only to be denied ultimate success by an all powerful figure (MJ for Chuck and for Paul, well, himself) and live out the rest of their days as embittered preachers.

 
At 3/10/2008 11:07 AM, Blogger Matt said...

padraig: The metaphor is tortured, yeah, but look at Paul as compared to Leto the younger; one a blind man, the other a huge god-worm. At the very least, he wasn't consumed by his talent.

 
At 3/10/2008 11:29 AM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Don't forget about Hunter S. Thompson's bourbon-soaked, mad-dog run at Page 2.

 
At 3/10/2008 1:30 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Without the time to get analytical, I think there's a case to be made that LBJ is the Kwisatz Haderach. But rebar has a point about his elemental nature, making him like a worm. He might also be like the younger Leto, on his way to becoming a god emperor.

Wiley's point, though, is that it was then unclear whether T-Mac was the KH or Hasimir Fenring.

And yes, HST's stuff on Page 2 was the only thing I've ever been able to read about football.

 
At 3/10/2008 3:31 PM, Blogger J.R. said...

Wiley also (unintentionally?) drops T-Mac's greatest nickname: Big Sleep. Riffing on Shaq's nicks, he combines it with his own Dune reference and comes up with... slang for death. How many times has FD pointed out that T-Mac is surrounded by death, burdened by it like no other in the L?

Big Sleep. Perfect.

 
At 3/10/2008 3:55 PM, Blogger padraig said...

matt - but Paul WAS consumed by his talent, just not as literally as his son. btw if you're looking for someone who never made it out of the first round look no further than the original Duke Leto, who fought the entirely futile good fight.

mr. six - yeah, that makes sense - unfortunately he wound up a lot closer to the eunuch.

I'm also of the mind that LBJ corresponds to the Leto the younger pretty well, still searching for his posse of Stilgar, Gurney, Lady Jessica, twin sister etc. to facilitate his rise to power, after which he will rule the NBA with an iron fist for 10,000 years.

 
At 3/11/2008 2:13 AM, OpenID tredecimal said...

If LBJ=Leto the Y,
Stilgar=Ilgauskas
Gurney=Joe Smith (an off-worlder, or at least Chicago)
Jessica=Jay Z & the Nets- he can't really marry them, but we all know who he sleeps with
Alia=Boobie Gibson

 

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