Each Day Is a Lifetime, 8.25.08

I am experiencing what's either Olympic withdrawal or pre-Convention jitters. Regardless, I have chills and can't see, so this will be brief for now. Maybe I'll pull something real together for later.

-BOXIANA. FD loyalists know Shoefly, and might even remember his epic boxing post of 1.5 years ago. Well, after much preparation, he's launched a blog of his own. It's about boxing, but let me say: A true liberated fan need not be bound by what sports he supposedly likes or does not like. So read and rejoice. (BS)

-My final Portraits in Patriotism. Shows clear signs of illness. (BS)

-Good ole reliable Jim Souhan singles out Allen Iverson in the latest recapitulation of the "Team-USA-2004 really motivated this year's team to win gold...as though it was Iverson's fault for what happened that year (hmm, I seem to remember now-"redeemers" Dwyane Wade, Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James on that team as well). Regardless of this storyline's idiocy, two tremendous blows have been dealt to Allen Iverson's legacy over the past three months--neither of which have involved him. (1) is the Redeem Team narrative that simply tosses Iverson to the dogs as not-a-national-folk-hero-of-the-Steve-Smith-caliber.

The caricature of AI then gets used as the paper-doll foil for everything America does NOT represent (good thing for Marbury that he never grew cornrows. (2) Kevin Garnett wins a ring. I've wondered over these past two months...whose legacy does this affect more? KG's or the legacies of Iverson, Dirk, T-Mac, Jason Kidd, (and maybe LeBron?). Prior to this year's championship, we could always look at AI and KG as the two warriors who never won a ring. Now that he is stuck on a terribly coached team that isn't even getting out of the first round of the playoffs, the mystique of Iverson is beginning to dissipate...but it's NOT HIS FAULT. The sad thing is having to wonder whether these two events (which have inevitably motivated Iverson) will be counteracted by the wearing down of his body. (Dr. LIC)

Brown Recluse, Esq.: Iverson and Duncan were BY FAR the two best players in Athens. And Wade, Melo, and LeBron whenever Larry actually let them play. To assert that AI was in any way responsible for that team losing is just wrong.

-I spent almost two hours Sunday trying to write something on how, in the run-up to the first Obama/Biden appearance, the MSNBC compared DE's finest to Koufax, taking some time to get his gifts under control, and a boxer who punches a lot and lands enough of them. Obama was, in passing, likened to LeBron, with talent that immediately manifests itself. This had something to do with the whole Darwin's Athletes conundrum, since here a white politician was the more athleticized, and the possibility that Biden might be a more stereotypically "black" politician than Obama. Like really, who has more in common, style-wise, with Al Sharpton?

But then I got stuck on the issue of the Undrcrwn and Air Obama tees. Would those ever be made for a white, Latino, or Asian candidate with a similar cult of cool surrounding him? I'd say maybe, and yet it's hard to completely erase the issue of race, any more than I can unequivocally say that Obama's skin color is proof of a brave, new tomorrow, rather than—for some voters—proof of a desire for that. What makes it especially complicated is that, while Obama has made no secret of his love of hoops, branded himself the first basketball president, and expressed adulation for Dr. J, he's also, by his own admission, closest to Tayshaun Prince on the court. So as a speaker and a movement, he's MJ, or fiery Vince. But if you actually look at the man, on the court and in the finer points of his politial gamemanship (quoth his brother-in-law: "if you want to know about a man, play basketball with him"), that's only the tip of the iceberg, or maybe even an optical illusion.

So yeah. Biden has conventional style. Obama's is more complex, to the point of rupturing that corny, but indefatigable, connection between everything that can be interpreted as appreciating the value of style. I'm going back to sleep. (BS)



At 8/25/2008 12:38 PM, Blogger Jason Gill said...

Obama likening himself to Prince garners unending credit in my mind. Prince is a guy only someone who loves basketball revers, and as the saw goes: imitation (or the hope thereof) is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let's hope Tayshaun running down Reggie from halfcourt is prescient.

At 8/25/2008 1:09 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Sigh. Iverson never got the credit or respect he deserved at any point in his career, now it looks like he never will.

At 8/25/2008 1:54 PM, Blogger goathair said...

What does it say about Obama that Tayshaun is constantly called underrated to the point of exhaustion?

At 8/25/2008 2:48 PM, Blogger D Keane said...

I have this (probably naive) hope that Iverson will live on as a hero, unjustly maligned in his time. I think he's got a shot because enough people identify with him in a way they don't with other athletes who were famous for what they didn't accomplish (Ewing, Marino, the impossible to like Malone). Maybe cuz of his size, maybe because enough of us know that "sometimes good guys don't wear white"... I do know that listening to fans who lived in DC when he was a Hoya talk about watching him play sounds like hearing people talk about seeing their favorite movie or band for the first time.

At 8/25/2008 3:06 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

Seriously, everyone check that shoefly blog. It's my new shit.

At 8/25/2008 3:11 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

In an unprecedented attempt to tie together everything in the links, let me be the first to ask: Do they take down retired jerseys during a political convention?

At 8/25/2008 3:17 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I'm leaving this up here as a lesson for all young bloggers in what NOT to do if you want respect and attention.

(This makes two posts in a row)

Oh and also, don't send me generic "add me to your blogroll" emails.

At 8/25/2008 3:23 PM, Blogger D Keane said...

What if it's another witchcraft blog? Witchcraft blogs need to stick together.

At 8/25/2008 3:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

I'm pretty sure that somewhere in The Genealogy of Morals, there's a rumination upon the value of shame that uses as an example re-posting a Berri article that compares Chauncey (favorably) to Isiah. (No slight to Chauncey, but at this point, I'm pretty sure Berri is cooking his numbers just to get a rise out of people.)

Nice work on the final Portraits in Patriotism.

The comparison isn't completely apt, and I hesitate to make it, but I wonder whether the ultimate summary of AI's public perception will be somewhat similar to Ali's. In 1996, when he lit the Olympic torch, few cared to remember how hated Ali was just 30 years earlier. I won't be surprised if enough time reduces public memory of AI to just his athletic feats. A championship would help, but victory isn't a necessary trait for an American folk hero.

At 8/25/2008 3:43 PM, Blogger Jeffrey said...

The use of the exclamation point at the end piques my interest. I mean really, who is better?!

At 8/25/2008 3:51 PM, Blogger Quantavius Sturdivant said...

i'm in the mood to consider.

At 8/25/2008 6:47 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

For what it's worth, re: AI . . . my mother, who is 60 yrs old, white, and not overly given to transgressive thought or behavior, says, whenever AI comes up in conversation, "He's so CUTE . . . look at those big brown eyes . . ."

The point being, aside from that my mom is kind of weird, is that the world would be a better place if more 60 year old white women had crushes on Allen Iverson.

At 8/25/2008 7:54 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Rocco, from the vault.

At 8/25/2008 8:53 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Doesn't the recent resurgence of Sixers basketball sort of trump Rocco's thesis? Seems as though the team is better off for having made that trade.

That last commentary about the term trading block is just one example of what I don't understand in current discourse. I don't see the offense in the use of that term or in someone saying that Maccabi Tel-Aviv got cremed by Moscow last night. I wonder if Rocco would think that the McHitler comments that bloggers have been using in defense of Madonna are offensive enough for the thought police to get involved in, or would "toughen up", be the more appropriate answer to both sensitivities?

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn." Gore Vidal

At 8/26/2008 6:14 AM, Blogger Notorious D.I.G. said...

AI definitely gets a raw job. When they talk about MVP's I always ask did the guy have at least one season where it can be said that he lead his team to the Championship round. Regardless of winning or losing. Did you get your team there?

AI definitely accomplished that. KG just validated his past award. Even going into other sports, Marino at least got his team there.

In fact, the only NBA MVP to never reach the Finals is white America's loverboy (and perhaps the anti-Iverson)Steve Nash. And he has 2, while accomplishing exactly what?


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