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NBA FINALS REPORT & Some Baseball Too

        Remember the good old days when your team lost and you could take out your frustrations on the officials. It was the perfect situation, because it makes losers feel like frustrated winners, like they accomplished something. Ask a Cardinal fan who really won the 1985 World Series. Now head east to the other side of Missouri and ask the same thing of a Royals fan. See, same thing. Everybody has something to feel proud of thanks to Don Denkinger. Poor umping, refing, officiating, whatever you want to call that stuff, was like the participation trophy for the sports fans of yore.

        Nowadays, instead of everybody getting to feel like a champ, we are made to feel like chumps. Consider last night's game one of the NBA Finals. Third quarter and the Cavaliers have gotten back into the game. Lead changes back and forth, back and forth. Strap on your seatbelts, sportsfans, we are in for a treat. Boy oh boy, I said to myself, the only thing that could make this game any more exciting would be if somebody got smacked in the nuts and then the officials stopped the game and watch that over and over. 

        Back to the action, though, here comes Andre Iguodala down the lane and OUCH, Matthew Dellavadova smacks him right in the family jewels!! Hey hey ho ho, it's Christmas in June!! Now we watch as the refs gather round and watch on their little teevee. It really is a shame there are only three of them, because while watching them gather and confer, I don't think there's a hoops fan around who doesn't wish for one or two more paragons of stern and austere comportment. It was mentioned at some point in the broadcast that there might be a fourth coming sometime next year. That's the future, in the present we have to settle for the guys in the broadcast booth invoking expertise in the form of  live feed of some 23 year NBA veteran ref who appears to be watching the game extraordinarily closely in some small non-descript room in an unknown location. He tells us about the replay with all the urgency of a man who is thinking "I've got to do something to escape from this box. If only there was room for one more zebra on the court!"

        Minutes pass, seems like hours. Lovely how these "let's get it right" breaks allow for fans to tune out for a while and work on their meditation tecniques. It was warm last night so my windows were open. I could hear my anti-LeBron neighbors cheering when Golden State was up by 14 early, and my anti-Curry neighbors chirping when the comeback happened. During the delay I noted both of them engaged in a type chanting I've often heard Tibetan monks doing on YouTube.

        Then it ends. No technical on Iguodala for being upset. I got no issues with the call, it's the endless conferring that bugs me. Seems like three seconds after the game starts back up Iguodala drains a three and now the lead is six. It's all the Golden State show after that.

        Not sure if anybody else was struck by this, but did you ever notice that in all of professional sports, well American professional sports, hereafter referred to as REAL sports, that the only team whose location has a brag in it is the GOLDEN State Warriors. You don't see the Miami Dolphins calling themselves the Land of Splendid Beaches Dolphins or the Phillies calling themselves Greatest Cheese Steaks-ville Phillies. I dunno, watching the Warriors pull away last night, I just kind of felt like, there's something about this 73 win regular season team that seems a little too confident, dare I say it cocky, and I wonder if it all begins with their name?

        In other news the Red Sox ended up splitting their four game series with the second place Orioles. Looks like they need some arms to go along with the bats. From an entertainment perspective, I think I'd rather have a team a little more loaded in the rotation over having every guy in the lineup with a .900+ ops. It gets kind of like watching softball after a while. Am I complaining about a first place team? Yeah, a little. In a perfect world most baseball games would be won 5-4 after featuring two stellar performances by the starting pitchers. The middle relievers would be allowed in to get the offenses going. You know, trot two guys out who nobody really has a great affinity for, two guys who probably won't be with the team next year, and who, in interviews, are quite forthright about how they don't give a damn for our sympathy or derision. They say things like "hey I am a middle reliever, I know I am just here to be the forgotten man who blows the game. Do you think I give a damn? No. I am only concerned with my stocks and my collection of rare orchids. To hell with baseball and baseball fans."

Well, so it goes, madd-talent, so it goes. Have a good weekend, etc. See you at game two.



Boston based fan of the Red Sox, Boston College hoops team, and Philadelphia Phillies.

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