Friday, January 30, 2009

Rethinking the Laker Hate

Disclaimers: The following does not have as much to do with me meeting and speaking to most of the team a couple weeks ago as you think. (Rubbing it in the faces of those who would have appreciated it far more is more enjoyable). The following is also a gradual process that has been on my mind for quite a while now, so it is not some quick blasphemous about face.

Via True Hoop:

Josh Tucker of Hardwood Paroxysm: "Look, I get that you hate the Lakers. I really do. But going off like a ticking time bomb every time the Lakers get a break, and then looking the other way when they get a raw deal, doesn't make you clever, witty, or insightful. It makes you boring, predictable, and tired, not to mention completely unoriginal.

While we're at it, so does criticizing Lakers fans for being 'bandwagon fans,' or for being arrogant, smug, or condescending. Your anti-Lakers bandwagon is just as cliché, and your self-righteous attitude toward Lakers fans is just as arrogant, smug, and condescending."

Hmm. I have to say I agree. For years, my rationale towards the Lakers had a lot to do with their annoying fans who knew nothing about basketball, rarely followed or watched the sport enough to justify their irrational passion, and only proclaimed their love for the team when they were winning. But now, my old maverick way of thinking has become the norm amongst Laker Haters. The hatred of the bandwagon is...well, bandwagon I often find it painfully difficult to hold a conversation with Laker fans. They are just too irrational and ignorant to debate intelligently and learn from each other.

However, as I have aged and matured so have my peers. Working in the front office of an NBA team full of knowledgeable and experienced professionals, I am beginning to appreciate the wisdom of SOME Laker fans. Before you dismiss me as a traitor, understand that I have always had an appreciation for the Lakers tradition and legacy, and I have always followed the team. Anyway, this is just so you all know where I stand.

That being said, I still look forward to the Lakers crushing their fans when they lose to Boston/Cleveland/Orlando in The Finals.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random Rants: Mancrush

I love Gary Payton on TNT. He brought back the Charles Barkley elements of fun and laughter, with the added element of severe trashtalking.

Yours truly has the distinct honor of working tonight's game at Staples Center between the 9-32 Los Angeles Clippers and the 9-34 Oklahoma City Thunder. The loser takes possession of the worst record in the NBA

On a less sarcastic note, I truly did have the honor of hanging out courtside for the recent Lakers Clippers game. Props to the Clippers scrubs for keeping it a competitive and entertaining game, until Kobe Bryant and company just decided to quit playing around. I have many stories from this eventful night, which some of you have already heard the highlights of.

One of the great things I took away though, is that it is truly an amazing experience to see the Lakers in action. Not only do they feature the best of the best of the best athletes and basketball players, but Kobe Bryant himself is on a whole another level. We often hear commentators speak of Kobe's eyes and body language, and how you can tell when he is about to take over a game. I always thought this was a bit of an exaggeration, but it is truly something that you can witness up close. When Kobe kicks it in to a higher gear, everyone paying attention courtside notices first. Then he makes a play on defense, brings the ball up, maybe some of the crowd picks up. on what is about to happen. Then everyone oohs and ahhs before cheering as he schools whichever pour soul is guarding him, gets to the rim, and makes a ridiculous athletic move that we have grown to accustomed to seeing for years either on television or far away buried in the crowd. But watching this all unfold just a few feet away is a whole another experience. It seems like Kobe is faster, stronger, smarter, and just better than everyone else in the building as he moves around and leaps over defenders. There is a reason why it costs $2,500 to sit courtside for a Lakers game. It may be ridiculous, but so is the show you get to see up close.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How My Heart Sinks

Tons of thoughts formulated moments ago while watching President Barack Obama's inauguration at UC Irvine's Anteater Bar & Pub, but none more important than the following.

When Obama said, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers," the bar full of students and teacher assistants had scattered applause and cheers immediately following the term, "non-believers."

Witnessing this, my heart sank. It saddens me that such a young and intelligent group full of hope and potential would actually be proud of the fact that they do not know the Lord. In fact, some of them seem to be proud of rejecting the Lord, presumably because they have never had the proper opportunity.

Folks, as great as Obama seems to be, as great as his rhetoric and inspiring words are, and even as great as his presidency may indeed turn out to be, he is no God. He cannot not solve your problems. He cannot bestow tons of blessings on you. He cannot wash away your sins, and he sure as hell will not die on a cross for you. Instead of idolizing and anointing Obama as some living deity, these same otherwise smart people should check out what Jesus had to say, and see that his actions actually followed through on his powerful words.

So if you want to cheer for something, it begins with the Bible and prayer.
If you want to have someone to cheer for, look no further than the Man upstairs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 50 Sportscasters

The top 50 Sportscasters as voted by the American Sportscasters Association:

1. Vin Scully
2. Mel Allen
3. Red Barber
4. Curt Gowdy
5. Howard Cosell
6. Bob Costas
7. Jim McKay
8. Keith Jackson
9. Al Michaels
10. Dick Enberg

11. Jack Buck
12. Ted Husing
13. Jack Brickhouse
14. Don Dunphy
15. Graham McNamee
16. Ernie Harwell
17. Marv Albert
18. Harry Caray
19. Jon Miller
20. Bill Stern

Chick-hearn.jpg21. Chick Hearn
22. Marty Glickman
23. Jack Whitaker
24. Jim Nantz
25. Chris Schenkel
26. Lindsey Nelson
27. Russ Hodges
28. Ray Scott
29. John Madden
30. Bob Prince

31. Joe Buck
32. Milo Hamilton
33. Bob Wolff
34. Chuck Thompson
35. Chris Berman
36. Phil Rizzuto
37. Marty Brennaman
38. Clem McCarthy
39. Bill Walton
40. Foster Hewitt

41. Harry Kalas
42. Johnny Most
43. Bob Elson
44. Brent Musberger
45. Pat Summerall
46. Merle Harmon
47. Dick Vitale
48. Dick Stockton
49. Tony Kubek
50. Bud Collins

Leave it to Calvin and Hobbes

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Year in Review

2006 Year in Review

2007 Year in Review

  • Ohio State falls in the BCS Championship again, this time to LSU, 38-24.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers acquire Pau Gasol in one of the most lopsided trades of all time, immediately cementing their return to status as one of the NBA's premier teams,
  • The New York Giants stun the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, highlighted by one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.
  • March Madness ends with the Kansas Jayhawks defeating the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in overtime. Five Jayhawks were drafted into the NBA.
  • I am sure lots of stuff happened, but I was too busy playing GTA IV to notice.
  • I am sure lots of stuff happened, but I was too busy watching the NBA Playoffs to notice.
  • In the NBA's dream mathup, The Boston Celtics only need five games to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in The Finals, featuring a 24 point comeback and a 39 point championship clinching blowout.
  • The Madden Curse strikes early as the Brett Favre soap opera peaks, eventually resulting in his unretirement and reinstatement followed by the subsequent trade from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets.

  • Michael Phelps becomes the story of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, capturing eight gold medals and breaking a ridiculous number of records.
  • The Seattle SuperSonics are officially nonexistent as the Oklahoma City Thunder debuts its name and colors. Ugh.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series, which had its clinching game posponed for two days due to rain.
  • Barack Obama wins the 2008 Presidential Election.
  • One year after the New England Patriots complete the first ever 16-0 season, the Detroit Lions balance it out with the first ever 0-16 season.