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Archive for June, 2011

The Reluctant King

LeBron James has all but disappeared in the 4th quarters of the last two games of the NBA finals and amateur psychologists among the nation’s sportswriters are weighing in with their theories.

Mike Wise of the Washington Post has a good one. He thinks that in Cleveland, everything depended on LeBron and the responsibility was just too much for him to handle. Teaming up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami was the answer; he would no longer have to carry an entire team solely on his back. Except last night, in the pivotal 5th game of the series, Wade came up lame with a hip injury. Chris Bosh had reverted to the critical nickname they use for him derisively at times in Miami- “Flower Forward.” That left LeBron as the man. And he scored two points in the 4th quarter. Earlier he’d been great, posted a triple-double (double digits in points, assists and rebounds).

The other widely heard theory as that when he tweeted prior to last night’s game that it was “now or never,” he put way too much pressure on himself.

Though he has no shortage of ego, I’m hearing Miami fans this morning saying that, ironically, King James has to be more selfish about scoring if the Heat are to prevail by taking the last two games of the series at home.

Actually, with all due respect to his tremendous talent, it’s character that usually comes to the fore in a championship series. I’m sure LeBron will eventually develop some- and this may be the experience that does it. But the mistake here made by the media and most of the public- is that the wrong King was being crowned.

The real royalty in the NBA is not from Ohio- he’s from Germany and his name is Dirk Nowitzki. Now that’s a guy who plays well under pressure. Torn tendon in the finger of his non shooting hand? No worries. Uses the injured finger and hand to make the lay-up that closes out game 2 in Miami. Sinus infection and 102 degree fever? No big deal, makes every clutch shot in game 4.

Here’s how I see this playing out. Heat win game 6 at home forcing a decisive game 7. Nowitizki comes through in the clutch, gets his elusive trophy he lost to Miami five years ago and the Dream Team finishes with in an inexplicable whimper. And then Miami goes on to win the next three NBA championships having developed some of the character that was missing in their NBA Finals debut. I swear, sometimes I think that’s all God demands every now and again. Just a little humility. That’s what the Miami Heat are in the process of developing right now.

Weinered Out

I took a few days off and unplugged from the world a bit. As I read back in to our political and cultural discourse today, I see 7 out of 10 news stories are about Congressman Weiner’s sexting and Sarah Palin’s version of Paul Revere’s midnight ride.

I understand the spectator appeal of both stories; we’ll call it the car crash syndrome- not pleasant to look at but impossible to resist. But really, Washington Post- five different Weiner angles? “Weiner’s District Debates His Future,” “Wives Increasingly Skip Public Confessions,” “Weiner Takes Mortification 101,” “Anthony Weiner’s Apology-Fest,” “Breitbart Inserts Himself in Weiner Drama.” Daily Beast/Newsweek is similarly obsessed with 4 of its top 10 stories concentrating on some iteration of All Things Weiner.

The Post also weighs in mightily with the continued brou-ha-ha over Sarah Palin’s historical boo-boo she insists was not a mistake about Paul Revere blowing whistles firing shots and ringing bells to warn the British not to take away our guns or something. We have “Don’t Know Much About History,” “Fight Brews on Paul Revere Wikipedia Page,” “Palin Once Again Disregards the Facts,” and “Sarah Palin Gallops Toward 2012.”

You know, in about two months this nation faces the very real possibility that it will default on its debts for the first time in its history. What’s that- a 1000-point stock market crash? We have a stalled recovery and a public frightened at the potential consequences of continuing job losses. Folks are paying up to $200 a month more to gas up their cars. The housing crisis continues unabated.

I understand the last question asked at Anthony Weiner’s news conference was, “were you fully erect?”

Beyond being disgusted, I thoroughly do not care. My 401K? Job security for my friends and family? Can I ever afford to buy a house again? Can I get my kid through four years of college? That’s the kind of stuff I care about. Call me Weinered out. Can we please get serious about things that actually matter?

Mavs Upset of Heat Fun to Watch


Except, of course, I didn’t actually watch it. As soon as Dwayne Wade hit the 4th quarter 3-pointer and posed for 5 seconds in front of the Dallas bench and his highness, LeBron, did this chest thing with Wade- I was out of there.

I was determined not to watch these preening egomaniacs turn the NBA Finals into their personal playground. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was disgusted. The Dallas Mavericks had had enough sand kicked in their face and they responded with one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the NBA Championship. So I missed it, but have enjoyed reading about it, immensely.

The Heat are going to have earn it now and that’s the way it should be. The NBA Finals are nobody’s personal playground. They may yet be the champs. But, surely, they will have learned it’s not only talent that makes history. A little class usually goes along with a ring too. They still have a chance to show some.

Cravitz Family Goes On National Sightseeing Tour

June 1, 2011 1 comment

We make too much of this Sarah Palin Bus Tour business. She’s just taking a little family vacation. Who hasn’t taken a summer to load the kids up in a garishly-painted bus with mom’s signature next to the preamble of the Constitution of the United States?

Regrettably for the Cravitz family of Columbus, Ohio, they also decided to take an RV tour across the country at the same time. Organizers of the Memorial Day Rolling Thunder event looked puzzled as Mrs. Cravitz emerged from their vehicle in her curlers asking about their placement in the parade of Harleys across Memorial Bridge.

The Cravitz family trip to the National Archives building was, frankly, a disappointment. Some important lady was in the Archives building at the same time, and the usually lengthy crowds snaked around five blocks instead of the usual two. With temperatures nearing 100 degrees, they pretty much gave up and decided to drive to Gettysburg National Battlefield Park instead.

While visiting the battlefield they ran into a colorfully painted bus in a parking lot and toured that and then it was off to New York City. There, they saw several buildings named Trump, drove down to Times Square, but for the life of them could not find a seat at La Famigilia Pizzeria, which was just as well because they sensed something odd about the place when they saw a man with orange hair and a woman with a beehive hairdo eating pizza with forks.

The Cravitz’s were last seen headed toward Boston but almost got in an accident when they had an uncomfortably close call with a colorfully-painted bus, followed by another bus with big red letters that spelled ‘CNN’ and 10 or 12 other vehicles that looked like vans with big metal poles on top of them.

“Hey, wasn’t that the bus we toured at Gettysburg?” asked Mrs. Cravitz. “Yeah, I think these people are following us.” responded Mr. Cravitz. “Why would anyone want to follow us on our family vacation to historic places along the East Coast?” queried Mrs. Cravitz. “It’s insane, I tell you.” said Mr. Cravitz. “Let’s get the heck out of here and go to a couple of places nobody goes to in the summertime….New Hampshire and Iowa!”