I have nothing against baseball. I was thrilled to see the Giants win the World Series. And it was enjoyable because the tension of the World Series overrides the intrinsic boredom of the game: pitch/strike/pitch/ball/pitch/popup/flyball.
I have nothing against football. It's a game uniquely suited to TV, and so am I, except of course that uniquely means it's perfect for advertising. What was the recent stat about actual minutes of viewing the game? 26% of the total TV time? I can't begin to tell you how annoying such a plethora of advertising is. Anyroad, (That's anyway in Scottish) I'm picking the Green Bay Packers vs Denver Broncos for the Stupid Bowl. Will Cheetos out slug Budweiser?
So, thank God, basketball season has arrived. And for me, that means the NBA. I'm excited because my Golden State Warriors look to be healthy and ready to surprise the league.
About the Warriors, Before the season started, I was able to watch one of their practices. Bogut is slim and ready to compete. Festus Ezili is back, still a little raw but looks to be the strong backup needed to spell Bogut. He'll get better as the season progresses. The Splash brothers will do what the do best, score. Klay will defend, so will Igudala. Harrison Barnes will have an improved season, starting now instead of Igudala - a smart move by a smart young coach. Green is "a ton of heart" kind of player every team needs. Two fabulous additions make the Warriors much stronger this year: Shaun Livingston, a solid backup pt guard and strong defender and Barbossa, the Brazilian Flash, as back-up for Thompson. The Flash can defend and score and he'll get easy baskets with break out speed. And finally there's Mister Consistency, David Lee, at the power forward whose performance will determine the difference between close games and blowouts.
As the cliche goes, all the pieces are in place and the first three games of the 14/15 NBA season is proving me right. 3-0, not a bad start. Is Klay Thompson worth the $70 mil? You bet. However, it will be fascinating to see how the Warriors handle the cap after next season. But that's decades from now, so why worry?
Here are my predictions and a few comments. Predictions depend on the teams' crucial players remaining injury free. For example, Bogut and the flash brothers must remain healthy for the team to reach the finals. Rose has to stay healthy for once for the Bulls and Kyre Irving of the Cavs must be injury free all year.
Warriors vs San Antonio for the Western Conference.
Cavalier vs Chicago Bulls for the Eastern Conference.
My surprise teams are the Kings and Dalles (with Tyson Chandler back in the post and Parsons, a great pickup from Houston) in the west. Since I live in Sacramento, I root for the Kings unless they're playing the Warriors. In the past I've disparaged DeMarcus Cousins, but for two out of the first three games, he's been playing under control, trying to be an All-Star. Good for him, if he can pull it off, since there's no question he's a force. The addition of Darren Collison will make a huge difference in stability - already proving true. And Rudy Gay is playing like the Rudy Gay of his Memphis years, although he continues to be a bit of a "ball stopper."
No surprises in the East unless you count Brooklyn and that will depend on Lopez staying healthy, an iffy proposition. I do believe Milwaukee will put up a much better showing than expected. Some folks are talking Charlotte, but in my opinion they hurt themselves by signing a headcase like Lance Stevenson. All in all, the East looks weak.
The emotions the following poem by Phillip Raisor evokes are wonderfully surreal about all sports. Sports lovers should get his book of poems entitled Headhunting and Other Poems about Sports from Turning Point Press.
The Photo-Finish Archive
A cortisone injection after a blind-side hit
A blonde flashing the benched tight-end
A camera malfunctioning at the finish line
A free fall out of a sputtering stunt plane
A knock-down with eight seconds left
When a voice is like a Malaysian caning
When your stomach is industrial waste
When numbness is your favorite color
When your mind is the scene of an accident
When remembering is today's exercise
All at once you can speak five languages
All at once Mary Magdalene is at your feet
All at once you have sympathy for roadkill
All at once you own the secret of alchemy
All at once you are the Big Bang all at once.
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.