4.11.2008

Of Golden Eagles and Maltese Falcons

I've been on this planet for sixty-three years now, and I've found that there are only a few rules that are worth following as closely as their nomenclature would dictate. I mention this because at the beginning of the events in question I was knowingly violating one of the rules I'd made for myself. It wasn't yet noon, and I was locked into a coaches-only meeting with my assistant, a Mr. Jack Daniels. Those who had worked with him extensively often found that he was a whole lot of fun to have around and could lead to some extreme short-term success, but in the end would leave you worse off than when you started with him. But he was always there when you wanted him to be, didn't run his mouth, and he at least gave you the illusion that you were always in control. In my book, that put old Dr. Jack at least one up on Larry Brown.











As I mentioned, I tried to refrain from the bottle before the Miami sun reached its throne and enticed the lifers to enter the safety homes and the Spring-break crowd to leave their clothes, but when you're staring down the barrel of a 13-win year, sometimes you have to remind yourself why you had to make the Goddamn rule in the first place. I explained this logic to my doctor. He told me that if I could convince my liver to only have trouble processing what I drank when we were over .500, then there wouldn't be a problem; but seeing as to how I wasn't even able to get Dorell Wright to provide consistent weak-side help I'd be better off just limiting my minutes, if I knew what he meant.

I thought of this as I poured out my drink. There was a knock at my door, and it swung open before I had a chance to respond. My first reaction was a sense of relief that it wasn't Dr. Greenthorpe, which in retrospect was somewhat inappropriate. She was taller than at least one of the players I had on payroll, with legs that looked like a pair of Eucalyptus trees. Shit, I know I'm getting old when a pair of legs like those reminds me of Central Park and not a co-ed named Lacey back at the UK who, I'm told, runs a Whole Foods now but wasn't too picky about what she put in her mouth back in 1964. Well, that and Joe Smith being underrated lets me know I'm getting old. And yet I digress.

















"My name is Nicole. I represent the interests of the ownership group."

I thought about wondering aloud just which of the owner's interests Nicky represented, but thought better of it. Even old guys like me have to watch our mouths nowadays.

"As you well know, this upcoming draft is going to be a defining choice for this franchise in the coming years."

Oh yeah, I knew. Everyone knew that. Paul from accounting knew it, and I don't think he could tell you the difference between Kobe Bryant and Kobe Beef. Kina from ticket sales knew it, and she thinks God Shammgod was the guy Lew changed his name for. Ricky Davis knew it. We even shut down The Kid, Udonis, and Marion so as to better help ourselves go for dead last. Like I told Chris the one time I can remember looking up at her when both of us had all of our clothes on, if you're going to do something, you might as well go all the way with it.











"I've been sent here to provide you all the best knowledge on the possible prospects and make sure you have everything you need to make the decision that will best benefit this franchise. I've obtained game film, recommendations from coaches, and comprehensive statistical models so as to give you the best possible information on all the prospects. Right now management is really high on this K-State kid, Michael Beasley, and…"

"Hold it, right there, Nicky, I don't have many rules but the ones I have, I stick to. And one is to not trust anyone under 20 with significant responsibility unless there are clear labels."

I punctuated that by finishing my drink. Hopefully Nicky hadn't attended any of my speaking engagements, but I'm pretty sure I'd have been able to pick her out of the crowd that usually shows up at those things.











"If I'm going to break my rules for this B-Easy, I'm going to make sure I know what the kid's deal is."

"Well that's why I'm here, Mr. Riley, I'm to give you game tape and…"

"Nicky, Lew Alcindor didn't learn the hook by watching Better Basketball, Magic didn't learn how to pass by hitting tires or learn to screw from Beyond the Green Door, and contrary to what you may have heard, I didn't learn principles of leadership from MacBeth. I didn't meet my wife on eHarmony and I'm not making a top-three pick based on tape. Get your coat, Nicky. We’re hitting the road.”

She gave me a look like I’d just suggested we trade The Kid for Jermaine O’ Neal. I don’t know if it was because she thought the idea to be out was insane or because she’d never seen any possible benefit in covering herself up, but she thought I was crazy either way.











“But…you’re the coach. Don’t you have to stay here until the season ends, to watch over practices, or set the rotations, or make the substitutions, or something?”

Just then she looked out my window onto the practice court, where Chris Quinn was taking bets on whether or not he could dunk. By the time Mark Blount and Earl Barron were engaged in a left-handed 3-point contest, my point made itself clear to her without me needing to say a damn thing. She put on her coat, although it’s worth noting that the ensemble she chose made me a good deal warmer than it could have made her.

On the plane, Nicky kept asking me about everything; my past, the Lakers, the Knicks, my marriage, everything. At one point she put her hand on my knee and her mouth told me that she wanted me to know that she had my best interests in mind, while the rest of her told me she also had my worst interests in mind. I told her she seemed like a nice kid, but that I was going to be making the decisions on this trip. I’ve got six rings, but the only one I could lose would be in serious jeopardy if Nicky got what she wanted out of me at 30,000 feet, in between the mini-bar and the film room. Not that I thought about it or anything. I used to only trust women as far as I could throw ‘em, but after my second kid I decided to stop performing that particular test. Now I don’t trust anything with an A-cup, up to and including Shaq.













We set down in Omaha. Not my kind of town, but I could deal with that. When the tournament rolls around, everything’s such a corporate dog-and-pony show that there’s not too much of a difference. It was, after all, the NCAA tourney. I remembered playing in it when I was a kid, running off screens and playing defense for ol’ Coach Rupp. Of course, Hollywood would have you believe that Coach Rupp took our defensive sets out of The Triumph of The Will. Of course, I picked up a USA Today when I took my seat, and read articles about “The Ultimate Hard Worker” Tyler Hansborough, “The Consummate Teammate” David Padgett, and “The Humble and Polished Student of the Game who dominates not through talent but through intelligence and skill” Kevin Love. Coincidentally, they’re all white. The more things change… Anyways, I wasn’t there to ponder whether or not T.I. would play the role of Mario Chalmers 15 years from now. I was there to find out about Mike Beasley, and just what this kid's "character issues" entailed, the old-fashioned way. I found an old colleague of mine in the stands who knew these kinds of things.

“Hey, Bob, I like this Beasley kid. Acts like the ball is the orb from Sleeper but can flat-out score the rock and pull down boards. Only thing is that I hear he’s got some skeletons in the closet. What can you tell me?”

I brought up Sleeper because I knew Bob was one of the few guys still in basketball who knew Woody as the guy who’d beat Star Wars for an academy award and wrote Side Effects and With Feathers, not as the guy who married his daughter and still got seats almost as good as the guy who made She Hate Me and those commercials for sneakers that cost almost as much as my loafers. I've always had a bit of a weakness for spending money on clothes, but when I buy my shoes, I'm trying to pick out the ones that make women go lower, not me go higher.

“Riles, cat went to six high schools. Dude’s got skeletons in his foyer. You ask me, I wouldn’t take a guy with an attitude like that on my team.”

“Yeah, I know exactly what kind of a guy you want on your team. I saw your reality show, Bob. How does it feel going from Dean Smith to a poor man’s Flava Flav?”

“Straight to sabers, eh, Riles? Y’all might want to pick up a win soon, 13’s an unlucky number to finish up with. Not because it’s cursed or anything, because it means your team’s a Goddamn insult to the sport of basketball.”

“Tell me, Bob, has studying under Digger Phelps improved your knowledge of the game?”

Bob broke out into a wide smile then, and I kindly offered him a red as a token of good will. We both walked out of the stadium to enjoy our cigarettes then, silently marveling at how much things had changed; 40 years ago, Red Auerbach lit up a victory cigar on the sidelines as his team strolled to its 9th championship. Now the best coach of the modern era, as I’ve been known to say when my modesty and sobriety have departed me, and the all-time leader in college wins had to act like 17-year old kids failing out of boarding school to have a smoke. Actually, scratch that. The coach of the worst team in professional basketball and a guy who wished he could get Erin Andrews' face time had to sneak out like kids flunking out of boarding school for a smoke.












“Seriously, tell me about this Beasley kid.”

“Nobody knows too much about him. Worst story we know is about him marking up the principal’s car back at The Factory.”

Shit, Oak Hill Academy. Back when I was in high school I saw exactly two notable persons: Big Lew and my home ec teacher. This kid had played with Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Bill Walker, and even that kid Kevin Durant, who by those advanced stats was the next Wilt and to hear Jay Bilas talk showed elements Pete’s handle, Iverson’s first step, Drazen’s jumper, Pippen’s perimeter D, Kareem’s touch from the post, Shaq’s power, McHale’s moves, Jordan’s driving ability, ‘Niques finishing, Magic’s court vision and West’s savvy every time he took a 15-footer. I didn’t need any statistical models to tell me that the kid needed a cheesesteak before he’d be within spitting distance of Jamaal Crawford, let alone any of those other guys.
















“Well, that’s the reason he left one school. That leaves us only four short.”

“That’s all I can tell you, Riles. You want to know more, you gotta find someone who knows.”

“Always fun to see you, Bob. There aren’t enough guys like us in the league anymore. What was the final straw for you?”

“Probably when Floyd pulled DeRozan by giving ‘Lil Romeo a scholarship for the pure hell of it. I’m all for pulling out the stops to get blue-chippers, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. And mind you, last year Tim had a kid who recruited himself. If I want a 7-footer with a left hook, do I have to give ‘Lil Mama my backup shooting guard’s scholarship?”

“I think it’s just Romeo now.”

“Way I see it, taking the ‘lil off your name is like Bill Walton trying to re-invent himself as an ‘avid reader’-you can act like William H. Buckley all you like, you’re still the dead-head who went on a hippie rebellion against Wooden and pushed his coach to allow him to use performance-diminishing drugs.”

“Those were the good times, Bob. On the bright side, we now have a legitimate hip-hop artist who goes by the name ‘Bow Wow.’ Shit is music’s answer to the Utah Jazz.”

“I really don’t care. Digger’s calling me over. If anyone sees these tapes 15 years from now, say the mob made me do it.”

I asked around about the kid all day, to varying degrees of nonresponse. I was getting frustrated; was the kid just not into social studies, or was he doing for his coaches what Peter Sellers did for his wives?

























The kid was out after a quick roll over that Mayo kid in the first round, the one who was supposed to be the next Pistol Pete and who had pretty much made it clear the only way he was staying in college another year was if they found dogs in his basement. But after a second-round exit, it got even tougher to find any solid leads on the kid, until I saw a kid with a limp who saw my face and jumped clean over a chain-link fence to avoid me. I threw a ball into his hands, which made him stand dead still until I was able to catch up to him.

“Bill Walker.”

“What’s it to you, bitch?”

“That’s Mr. Riley to you. Back when I was a kid, we respected those who came before us.”

“Last I checked, your generation stuck those who came before you on reservations and gave ‘em casinos.”

“If I wanted smart mouth on this trip I’d have shared a room service order with Nicky and gotten the 25-dollar movie. What can you tell me about Beasley?”

“I don’t know the cat. He shows up, goes to practice, leaves. He shares details about his life about as often as he hits the cutter.”

I put my knee into the one of his with the type of crap going on inside of it that turned Elgin from being the good kind of unstoppable to the kind of unstoppable that gives Yaroslav Korolev 8 figures, only nowadays they had better ideas for fixing a busted knee then switching Elgin to the more nutritious Camel Lights. Mine probably hurt more, but I had the benefit of not giving a crap.












“Whaddya say, Billy? I’m ten seconds away from putting another one into your knee, telling Chad Ford you’ve got a stubby wingspan, and telling Clay you’d be a steal in the second round.”

“Okay, okay. There’s a guy. Beasley talks to him after practice every day. Calls himself Manny C. Nobody knows his real name, but give me your number and I’ll have him call you.”

“If I don’t get that call, rest assured, you’re going to be balling with Lenny Cooke and James White next year.”

Sure enough, I got the call that very night. It was a deep voice, not one I recognized. It just said to show up at the parking garage at 2:00 in the morning, and to make sure I wasn’t followed. One of my few positive traits is to know when I shouldn’t let my own inhibitions mess up a good thing. I gave Magic the ball, I let Patrick get shots up and women down, and I wasn’t about to do anything other than what this guy told me. It probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but when you get to be my age you’ve got assurance that any idea you have won’t be the worst one you’ve ever had either. When I showed up, a tall guy with a hood on and a trail of smoke finding its way between whatever smoke detectors were in the building like Reggie coming off screens back in the day when lighting up the Mecca meant something other than Miley Cyrus coming to town.















I walked over to the van, and felt a crack to the back of the head the likes of which I hadn’t felt since I played football for the U, back when everyone didn’t act like KU was playing keep-away with a Faberge egg just because they let one of their basketball players do something other than practice pull-up jumpers and screw when I wasn’t busy playing ball. I didn't think of that at the time, because sudden and extreme physical pain rarely induces nostalgia.

I awoke to a pair of legs that ruled Hell out of the equation fairly quickly. My head drew up to find a dark skirt attached to what could truly and honestly be called a glower. That ruled out two of the three possibilities. I was still alive. Unfortunately, the other information I was processing kept me from being able to definitely see that as a “glass half-full” type of situation.

“Well, Nicky, of all the ways this could’ve shaken out, I sure as hell didn’t think I’d end up on my back before you.”

“Shut up, Pat. You’re going to listen now. You’re going to stop digging around Beasley. As far as you know, the kid enjoys to listen to Crime Mob with the volume at 14 and that’s all there is to it. We’ve got the thing set up, all the way to Stern. We’re getting Beasley. He’s the next big thing, and he’s coming to Miami with the kid and setting up a rivalry with King James. Mayo’s going to New York and he’s either going to extinguish or fan the flames of Isaiah. At this point, the big man doesn’t really care either way. Rose is feeding the skinny kid for the next decade. We appreciate all you’ve done, Riles, but at this point you’re really and truly an expendable resource. I don’t know if you’ve picked up a paper lately, but Doc Rivers is going to be coach of the year and Avery Johnson is looking into subletting options. Your luck can change just that fast in this league. In fact, you’re a 63 year old man with La Brea in your lungs. I don’t think anybody would be too shocked if you had a heart attack in your hotel room this weekend.”

“Nicky, I don’t play with Jerry West anymore, but I think I can tell when I’m dead, and seeing as to how you’re neither fully clothed or Stan Van Gundy, I don’t think I’m in the afterlife right now. And I know the big man-if he wanted me dead, I’d be on the sidelines in the sky. So I gotta think there’s a variable here you’re neglecting to mention, hopefully one influenced by my tan. What I’m saying here is that if I’m to go Rockefeller this weekend, I’d at least like the full experience.”









As I said all this, I’d closed the distance between us. A few seconds after I’d finished, the only laws either of us were breaking were biblical. I’d already broken most of my rules this week, so what was one more? And if you’re going to make a mistake, you might as well make one that involves enveloping. I wouldn’t have called what happened that night a good idea by any stretch of the imagination. But as bad ideas go, I had a lot more fun with this one than I did with Earl Barron.













I’ve always considered myself a fairly fortunate guy, and Nicky being a heavy sleeper after intense physical activity fit right in with being the 12th man with West and Baylor and taking The Kid being rated somewhere in between Darko Milicic and Chris Kaman. I had a cigarette, for tradition’s sake, and also because I'm addicted to them, and left one for Nicky. Then I put on my coat, grabbed my notebook, and went to see Memphis play against Kansas. There were no guards. The door wasn't even locked. Hell, I'd probably been checked out. That's what you've gotta love about Dames-the less you trust 'em, the more you end up getting out of 'em. I made a note to mention that to Stern. I walked unimpeded into the sunlight, got in a cab, and told the driver to take me to the airport, I was going to Manhattan, and not the goddamn Manhattan where Beasley played. I was going back to my town to pay the big man a visit. Somebody had messed with the wrong guy. The only thing left to find out was who.

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43 Comments:

At 4/11/2008 12:18 PM, Blogger Bernice said...

You hit that, man.
A Cut Above.
Manute Bol four block possession level.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:28 PM, Blogger rebar said...

WE'RE NOT WORTHY.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:54 PM, Blogger Hyperbollack Chamber said...

RIP Freedarko (at least for this loyal reader)

Indulgent posts from new money poetasters have left your once meaningful brand diluted and barren.

Shoals - I'm tired of sifting through the tedious scrimshaw of your safety-schooled apprentice to find your work.

Truth. (Apologies in advance for the negative tone of this post.)

Humbly yours,
H. Chamber

 
At 4/11/2008 3:22 PM, Blogger Nicholas said...

@Hyperbollack:
You're an idiot.

@Krolik: The little exchange about Lil Romeo was stilted, but otherwise, fantastic. Fan-fucking-tastic. Raymond Chandler fantastic. I mean, that was really fucking good. It could easily be expanded into a short story--no, should be expanded into a short story.

Let's see more.

 
At 4/11/2008 4:04 PM, Blogger JTExperience said...

That shit did it.
Superlative in every aspect.

 
At 4/11/2008 4:35 PM, Blogger The wondering Mind said...

Krolik1157,

Words elude me, I prostrate myself before you.

 
At 4/11/2008 5:48 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Only quibble:

KU= Kansas
UK= Kentucky

Other than that, absolutely brilliant.

 
At 4/11/2008 5:52 PM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

That was pretty tremendous. There better be a Part II.

 
At 4/11/2008 6:09 PM, Blogger Alap said...

hyperbollack..."sorry for the negative TONE"? i'm gonna use that--next time I commit a grisly murder I'll stand over my victim's body and say, "sorry, i know how horrific and psychotic this must've seemed to you."

also, for real for real, i just had a dream where i was in a car with shoals; he was dropping me off at my house, i think. the whole drive he had this annoyed, deflective look on his face. he did not wanna answer the dorky-ass questions i was so eagerly asking.

but just when we were pulling up to my front door and i asked him one last question about krolik, he slowed down, to tell me something that made so much sense. he was laughing his head off: "krolik is shoals in disguise."

why?

"cuz I needed some way to vent."

that last part of the dialogue didn't make as much sense to me as the first. plus, it's really hard to talk about a dream you just had and not end up sounding like a total creep. plus, it involves some random bloggers i've never met before, so it sounds even creepier.

 
At 4/11/2008 6:43 PM, Blogger Vincent Atienza said...

Awesome.

I hope you do a story for on the conspiracy against the Suns in the Western Conference in the style of Tom Clancy novel.

 
At 4/11/2008 8:31 PM, Blogger Babydaddy said...

Let me add my huzzah to the list.

Huzzah. I salute you. Bonus points for the Knight cameo.

 
At 4/11/2008 8:51 PM, Blogger rd said...

I can't even comment on this. I'm just going to stand silently in front of my laptop for a half hour, lit cigarette lighter held aloft.

 
At 4/11/2008 11:03 PM, Blogger Hans said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that...

 
At 4/11/2008 11:18 PM, Blogger Easie said...

Outstanding. Simply outstanding.

 
At 4/12/2008 1:10 AM, Blogger m. Alana said...

Congratulations, young man. You've ascended. Truly a great read.

alap: I had a dream a few months ago that I hitch-hiked with a young couple with a "SHOALS" license plate - as in, yes, our man Shoals. I don't remember the rest of the dream, but still: creepy.

 
At 4/12/2008 1:22 AM, Blogger Blake said...

this made me late getting back from lunch today. didn't really care. so sick. so sick.

 
At 4/12/2008 3:15 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

"I had a cigarette, for tradition’s sake, and also because I'm addicted to them"

 
At 4/12/2008 10:15 AM, Blogger Sweat of Ewing said...

Damn good read. Constructive criticism though - take it down a tiny (just a tiny one) notch in a few places. The part about Walker/Elgin's knees was nearly unintelligible until I read it 3 times cause there were so many shifts.

"I threw a ball into his hands, which made him stand dead still until I was able to catch up to him." - money.

 
At 4/12/2008 11:05 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Beautiful, really amazing read.

I will admit that reading it, I thought this was my man Jake from Breadcity in action. I had no idea Krolik could get down like this... Krolik is what everyone thought Durant was going to be....

 
At 4/12/2008 1:21 PM, Blogger avery said...

never thought I'd see basketball fan fiction. Unless that's what this site has been all along. seriously, though, great read.

 
At 4/13/2008 12:17 AM, Blogger Keprotica said...

Very slick. One correction, though: It's Behind the Green Door, not Beyond.

 
At 4/13/2008 11:23 AM, Blogger TheTillShow said...

Tell me you have Knicks Players in Part II...

 
At 4/13/2008 12:30 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

the criticism of beasley strikes me as identical to that of amare (went to a lot of high schools, got in trouble, etc etc). it also reminds me of eddie griffin so i guess that really doesn't help anybody.

great read krolik

 
At 4/13/2008 1:51 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Brilliant, Krolik. Throwing down the guantlet.

 
At 4/13/2008 2:10 PM, Blogger Rob Mahoney said...

Fantastic, man. I like, I like.

 
At 4/14/2008 4:49 AM, Blogger Kaifa said...

I can only say thanks for the great read. And if you do orders, I'd love one similar to this about Kobe and the strange workings of his mind.

And while we're at it, props to Shoals, I think, for being the Nostradamus to JR Smith's resurgence.

 
At 4/14/2008 12:50 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Apologies in advance if this comes off as dickish, but it's honestly offered as constructive criticism:

I really like the idea of this, but the execution is so-so. It's overwritten in too many parts. The transitions are rough and disrupt your flow. On a number of occasions, you go for clever one-liners that don't really accomplish much for the overall story or characters. Generally, I think you're writing a little too hard to the conventions of genre, rather than using the genre as the stepping off point for what is a fairly novel and promising new direction to postings here. Perhaps you've already read them, but you might want to take a look at Charles Willeford's books as an example of the last point.

I look forward to the next installment.

 
At 4/14/2008 2:25 PM, Blogger Ravi said...

Holy Wow.

 
At 4/14/2008 2:58 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Now that Carmelo has been arrested for being a drunk, when can we expect the "Melo is just misunderstood by crusty white media/his highly-flawed game is a thing of metaphysical beauty" apologist post to drop?

 
At 4/14/2008 3:47 PM, Blogger Laphonso said...

An Open Letter to Zeke:

Let me start by saying that I know I shouldn't argue with fools, but I can't stand you any more. What are you doing reading this blog when it's clear that you would rather be at home watching your Ronaldo Blackman mixtape? Please go to McChurch, or a Klan meeting, or some other place where your hate-mongering will find a comfortable home. Does the word "suspicion" mean anything to you?

 
At 4/14/2008 4:10 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

It's Rolando, not Ronaldo, but that's neither here nor there. I like the assumption that I have to be a pro-Bush Red Stater, or some kind of racist, in order to find the deification and the amount of ink spilled over flawed people and players like Carmelo Anthony to be distasteful. It's a smart/dumb thing, not a black/white thing. So who is guilty of stereotyping?

Word is that the whole thing thankfully ended without anybody getting hurt. Melo simply hit another car and quickly put it in reverse.

 
At 4/14/2008 5:07 PM, Blogger Babydaddy said...

Renaldo Balkman has a mixtape?

 
At 4/14/2008 11:37 PM, Blogger El Presidente said...

Laphonso, you ignorant slut.
I'm a Mavs fan, and I think Zeke's unbelievable homerism is... annoying. You, however, are worse than annoying. Much worse. Why not just call him a Nazi and be done with your godwinning.

 
At 4/14/2008 11:40 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Flawed people/players/teams are the only things worth writing about. Otherwise, there would be no need for writing.

I don't know why you don't all just ignore Zeke.

 
At 4/14/2008 11:45 PM, Blogger TheTillShow said...

Yo Shoals, you don't have to justify yourself to anyone. This was amazing. Point blank, period.

 
At 4/15/2008 12:32 AM, Blogger D.J. Foster said...

That was a very entertaining read. You're a really great writer.

 
At 4/15/2008 11:53 AM, Blogger T. said...

I'd totally listen to a Rolando Blackman mix-tape. Best central American player ever.

 
At 4/15/2008 12:09 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Homerism? A homer is somebody that has nothing negative to say about his team, or has unrealistic expectations of success. Dallas is going down in the first round to whomever they play, I've already come to terms with and accepted that. They're not nearly as good as they have been in recent years.


Flawed people/players/teams are the only things worth writing about.


I would say they're worth writing about, but to say they're the ONLY things worth writing about is awfully limiting. That seems like an either/or dichotomy to me. Just my $0.02, carry on either way.

 
At 4/15/2008 12:31 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

One other note: one of the things that the Christian Right ignorantly gets wrong is that they automatically assume that merely mentioning something, acknowledging its existence, or writing about it automatically confers upon it a stamp of approval. And I definitely see where Shoals is coming from in that flawed players/teams/entities are way more compelling than squeaky clean entities, because on first glance there appears to be an honesty and something genuine that we reflexively don't accept in things that appear to be perfect or nearly flawless. I think that explains a huge part of the appeal of tv shows like The Wire.

I don't know if this is his intention or not, and this is what has really bugged me for a long time about this site after initially falling in love with freedarko when I first discovered it: what comes across in the writing seems to be an automatic suspicion of anything white, along with an automatic acceptance of anything black.

I'm not here to be a nanny and say you can't like this or write about that. It just seems that when it comes to teams like the Warriors or the Nuggets, they veer heavily towards the style end of the spectrum, and of course I'd rather watch a track meet between them than a 70-63 suckfest between the Bulls and Bucks. What sometimes comes across though is an effort to give them some sort of substance that they don't have or possess. That's been my only beef. Peace.

 
At 4/15/2008 12:46 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Not that I'm complaining, but for a second I thought I was reading the WizzNutzz.

Not necessarily what you expect from FreeDarko, but when sharks stop moving they die (or at least sink?).

 
At 4/15/2008 1:08 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Someone's been reading their Fred Exely. I for one am grateful. Thanks!

 
At 4/15/2008 2:09 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that comes across in the writing seems to be an automatic suspicion of anything white, along with an automatic acceptance of anything black.

I think that's gotten less and less true of this site, mostly because it gets old and quickly becomes self-defeating.

What sometimes comes across though is an effort to give them some sort of substance that they don't have or possess.

That's the question: How much substance can you endow sports with? When is it all in fun, when is it a serious statement on your part, etc.? These are things I've been trying to figure out since this site started and believe me, I'm a lot more ambivalent about them than I was in 2006.

 
At 4/16/2008 1:31 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Welcome to the Gold Club. It's William "F." Buckley.

 

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