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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On Coaching the Warriors

    This blog is in no way a criticism of Keith Smart's coaching job this season. I thought he did well under adverse conditions (one of them being the worst first round draft choices in the history of the world and the underworld since Chris Cohan bought the Warriors). What's that old saying about you can't make a horse race outta horse manure? Smart may indeed become a good coach in the NBA. And I hope he gets his chance.
   That said, I humbly point out that there is a great coach available, no OJT required. That coach is Rick Adelman, late of the Houston Rockets - the lateness due to Rocket management brain damage, or that illness owners of teams often succumb to called "lackachampionship."
   Indeed Adelman has not won an NBA Championship, but does that mean he is not a great coach? Not by my standards. To my way of thinking a great coach produces consistently competitive playoff teams. The key word being consistent. As for a Championship, Adelman and his worthy Sacramento Kings should be wearing the rings gifted to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002 by some of the most shameful and disgraceful refereeing in league history.
    Adelman's only lackluster years were the two as the coach of the Warriors, but with every other NBA team he has coached, his teams have been successful. Adelman teams play hard on both ends of the court. He is intelligent and creative, and most importantly he is respected by the vast majority of the players he has coached.
    Signing Rick Adelman unfortunately means not renewing Keith Smart's contract, which is a shame. Smart deserves a chance to prove himself. But how the heck can the Warriors pass up an opportunity to sign Rick Adelman?
   Perhaps the Rockets should hire Smart. And if Irony rules the universe, which I'm convinced it does, Smart will go on to win an NBA championship in Houston.
    And what will Rick do as the Warriors' coach? What he has always done, produce tough-minded, competitive NBA playoff teams, ones that the Bay Area fans can be proud of and deserve. Will he produce a championship team? We'll never know unless the Warriors hire him.

   Michael Harper was my son's poetry professor at Brown University. I've read and enjoyed many of his great poems, but none were about sports until I found this one. Harper weighs about 300 pounds, so I can't see him shooting jumpers.

Makin' Jump Shots   by Michael Harper

He waltzes into the lane
"cross the free-throw line,
fakes a drive, pivots,
floats from the asphalt turf
in an arc of black light,
and sinks two into the chains.

One on one he fakes
down the main, passes
into the free lane
and hits the chains.

A sniff in the fallen air -
he stuffs it through the chains
riding high:
"traveling" someone calls -
and he laughs, stepping
to a silent beat, gliding
as he sinks two into the chains.

Sporting Green Saturday April 16, 2011

From page 1: NHL finally on the first page of the Sporting Green. Lots of folks excited. Pas moi. I have never been able to see the damnable puck. (Is it possible that if I were a Canadian, I'd have better eyesight?) I think I have the puck in my sights, then, voila, it's gone and players are crashing into each other on the boards. Where the hell is the puck? I think I see something round, black,and shiny in the middle of all the skates. But I lose my concentration because two skaters are beating the stuffings out of each other and, unlike the NFL intellectuals, these damn fools have taken off their helmets. There's bound to be blood. I guess fights are one of the reasons some people enjoy watching Canada's national sport, eh? I'd settle for just being able to see the puck enter the net.

Also from page 1: According to Rusty Simmons, Keith Smart didn't get a vote of confidence from the new owners of the Warriors or from Larry Riley, who didn't get much of a vote of confidence from the owners either when they hired his replacement, assistant GM, Bob Meyers, who claims the Warriors are a "volcano ready to erupt." Wow! It's Krakatoa arena not Oracle. Before there is any eruption, the Warriors must find a tough minded five who is able to make opponents think twice about driving into the paint; make sure Monta and Curry understand how to play defense; find a third guard for the rotation who is a lock-down defender; find a point forward who can create off the bounce, (or hope Darell Wright can learn over summer); develop a defensive philosophy, (one that includes a fourth quarter strategy); clean all the dead wood from the bench and start all over again acquiring bench strength (what the heck is Radmanovich and Bell good for? Radmonovich couldn't guard my old grandmother.) I like Jeremy Lim, (as a fourth guard) but can he shoot at all? Beidrens should be ashamed of himself. If the Warriors stay status quo or even close to status quo, the only eruption will be of the hips. Sorry, that was a little crude.

From page 9:What a hoot. Kobe's Lakers and GLAAD - Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation -announced a partnership. Was that partnership in the works before Kobe opened his insensitive mouth? This is called after the fact epiphany. Reminds me of the Nixon bunch going to jail and discovering religion.

More from page 9: Can't wait for the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma Thunder game tonight. Nothing against Carmelo, but isn't it wonderful to see the Nuggets prove you can be competitive without a "go-to-guy."  Besides, Carmelo couldn't guard my old grandmother either. Perhaps the "they don't guard anyone" Knicks should trade for the Warrior's Vladimir, the defensive specialist. (Oops, waited too long to post this. Can't wait for tonight's second game.)

I attended the last game of the Warriors' season against the Portland Blazers and watched a good three point shooting contests, better than the one at the All-Star game, at least. Not much in the way of basketball. Whoever hired the band that plays at the Warrior games, should be forced to sit next to the sax player for the rest of his or her life; no ear plugs allowed.

This hockey poem is too long to type out in it's entirety. The last section, entitled, The Goalie,  is the best in my opinion.

The Hockey Poem   by Robert Bly

4 The Goalie

     And this man with his peaked mask, with slits, how fantastic he is, like a white insect, who has given up on evolution in his life his family hopes to evolve after death, in the grave. He is ominous a a Dark Ages knight...the Black Prince. His enemies defeated him in the day, but every one of them died in their beds that night...At his father's funeral, he carried his own head under his arm.
    He is the old woman in the shoe, whose house is never clean, no matter what she does. Perhaps this goalie is not a man at all, but a woman, all women; in her cage everything disappears in the end; we all long for it. All these movements on the ice will end, the advertisements come down, the stadium wall bared... This goalie with his mask is a woman weeping over the children of men, that are cut down like grass, gulls that stand with cold feet on the ice...And at the end, she is still waiting, brushing away the leaves, waiting for the new children developed by speed, by war....