Monday, February 27, 2006

NBA Armageddon

posted by IntrinsicBent

I could not believe my eyes today.  Well, actually I couldn’t even see out of them after not believing what I read because of the tears flowing out of them. Yeah, the Frappe is not scared to admit we cry.

Especially when the subject is the Sacramento Kings’ owners expressing a desire to relocate their team to none other than Anaheim, California, the City that I love and reside in.  What?!?

It’s too hideous to comprehend.

Brad Miller sightings in Anaheim?  Unthinkable!!

They will face strong resistance from the Lakers and Clippers as well as the new billionaire owner of the Pond and Mighty Ducks.  

If it helps, I’ll get a “I Heart NY” tattoo across my neck complete with that cheesy red heart they’ve been rolling with all these years.  I’d sooner do that than see the Sacratucky Kings move into town.

The Pond would have to make no room for banners of any kind in the rafters.

I gotta go and write my City Councilman to propose an ordinance against the possession of cowbells in the city limits.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Public Service Announcement

posted by IntrinsicBent

For the ones and maybe even tens of you that are interested, the Nascar season has begun.  

All I can say is that it seems that this is one “sport” where the degree of difficulty has diminished since it’s inception.

As technology has driven speeds faster, it also has made it safer and more comfortable for the driver.

Plus, when it got started and was known as bootlegging, they had to also mix in right hand turns.

Friday, February 24, 2006

How Bad Can the Doldrums get . . .

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Now I realize you Frappers probably don’t tune in to the Frappe for the purpose of reading about curling; and I know that a second post is bordering on the obsessive; but as I said before, we’re in the midst of the February doldrums, so you take what you can get.  

I already mentioned how mesmerizing this event of curling is, but while watching the gold medal round today, I was suddenly struck by the global importance of this sport.  I think that this Frappe writer may have found the answer to world peace.  Everyone’s always looking for the sport that could replace war; some think that a simple boxing match between world leaders is the solution.  But the sport of boxing has had enough scandals to scrap that plan.  I think having a friendly match between countries’ curling teams is the perfect response to any international conflict.

Think about it, this sport has something for everyone.  It doesn’t discriminate between the old and the young; and I don’t see anything standing in the way of coed competition.  The sport pretty much judges itself, so an officiating debacle is unlikely.  But most importantly, the competitors are all mic’ed up.  This way, if anyone plans anything shady, the entire world is listening.  So whereas in war, we really have no idea what kind of bombs our armies are using over seas, but if our curling team decides to instigate some sort of curling-brawl, we’ll know who is at fault.  

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Let Her Be

posted by BiCoastal Bias

For those of you keeping score at home, the Frappe has taken on the burden of defense for Shani Davis, the entire sport of curling, and now, Lindsay Jacobellis.  

If you’re like me, you fell in love with this female snowboarder during her Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.  Coffee and snowboarding, two wonderful creations, and there was Lindsay bringing these separate worlds together.  But lately, she’s gotten some negative publicity.  If you’re pretending to ignore the winter Olympics like Money Mouth, I’ll humor you and fill you in.  Lindsay was competing in the Snowboard Cross event.  This is a race between four snowboarders on a course that features multiple jumps, (no points for style).  There was a collision early on in Lindsay’s race, resulting in her taking a 50 yard lead over the next closest competitor.  On the second to last jump, Lindsay grabbed her board, performing what some might call a “method grab.”  She biffed the landing, allowing a Swiss athlete just enough time to take the gold.  

Yes, the move she pulled was unnecessary, but what’s wrong with that?  After watching the replay, I don’t think we can assert that her grabbing her board directly resulted in her falling upon landing.  It appears that everything was back in place in time to land, she just ended up off balance and found herself on her back.  She very likely would have still fallen had she taken the jump normally, or as at like to call it, “boring-style.”  So really, she showboated a little bit and then didn’t get the gold; while embarrassing, it hardly warrants the public humiliation she is currently enduring.

Get off her back, America!  She didn’t get her gold, that’s punishment enough, no reason to pour salt in her wounds.  Besides, most of you either don’t think snowboarding should be an Olympic sport, or you are claiming ambivalence about the entire international competition.  So what are you complaining about?

Speed Skating and Terrell Owens

posted by MoneyMouth

     It wasn’t very long ago that I was telling you all that I don’t care about the Winter Olympics.  Well, I still stand by that claim even though I found myself watching the men’s 1000 meter speed skating tonight.  Let me just say it certainly wasn’t by choice.  When you live with 4 other guys, majority always wins out when sitting around the TV.  Thus, I pick my battles so I can be sure to catch shows like “How I Met Your Mother” or “Myth Busters.”  Considering that I was half asleep already, I bit my lip and allowed the images to flash in front of me.  

So, like I said, I found myself watching speed skating.  More specifically, I found myself listening to the story surrounding Shani Davis and the men’s pursuit team.  In case you were unaware (and I obviously wasn’t), Davis chose not to race on the men’s pursuit team because he wasn’t brought to Torino to skate in the men’s pursuit.  Unfortunately for the men’s pursuit team, they didn’t even clear qualifiers and consequently, Davis took a lot of heat over the situation from fellow USA skater Chad Hedrick who called Davis selfish because "any time you get a chance to skate for your country, you should take it."  

I, like Hedrick, was a little upset by Davis’ actions when I heard about them at first.  I’m always riding people like Barry Bonds or Shaq who seem to find a way to make the situation about them and not about the team.  At first, I saw no difference in Shani Davis and Terrell Owens.  But then again, Davis never claimed he would skate in the team pursuit in the first place.  In fact, he said he hadn’t even heard about it till a week prior.  So why should I, or even Hedrick, expect him to sacrifice the chance to skate his best in the 1000 meters, the event he specifically came to Torino for in exchange for a poorly organized team event?  

As my roommates rooted for Hedrick to keep his early lead in first place, I began to find myself pulling for the “selfish idiot” as my roommates chose to label him.  Shani Davis came to Torino as the favorite in the 1000m and I wanted him to prove it.  Our country deserves the best from our athletes, but our athletes don’t deserve to be abused like rag dolls.  Luckily, Shani Davis did just that: he gave his best, took the gold, and saved me from looking like a fool for defending a guy I know nothing about.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Curling Blog

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I watched my first curling match this evening.  I had only heard of curling before, and always in the context of “I can’t believe this is an Olympic sport.”  But after watching just one stone, I was simply mesmerized.  At that moment, I knew that the burden of defending curling was being passed on to me.  

After I had let out about 5 or 6 shouts of glee at the U.S. team’s performance, only to be met with negative comments from the announcers, I decided that I’d probably better look up the rules online.  This was a bad idea.  It’s kind of like finally getting English subtitles on the Spanish channel, only to discover that what you’ve been laughing at this whole time really isn’t all that funny.  (To do the same, Click Here.)

I regret to inform you that the state of U.S. curling is not strong.  The low point of the match came in the 9th end, where Pete Fenson had the throw.  With a virtually empty house, all Fenson had to do was take one point to tie it up, putting a little bit of pressure on Italy who had the draw in the final end.  Fenson air-balled, giving Italy the point and handing them the game.

The bright side of the match was the best player on Italy’s rink, Retoraz.  At 22 years of age, this kid is the future of curling.  Unless of course, my curling career takes off.  Retoraz, you just might meet me in 2010.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

February Doldrums

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Welcome to the worst two weeks of the sporting calendar. It hit me on Wednesday afternoon, (when apparently the biggest sports news story was whether or not Michelle Wie should get an exemption for the U.S. women’s open), that this time of year is the most boring for us sports fans. (Michelle, you know I love you, but our market research has shown that most Frappers . . . well . . . don’t.)

Winter brought us the best college bowl season since the inception of the BCS, followed by the always engaging NFL playoffs. But after Monday’s typical water cooler conversations of “Boy were those Super Bowl refs terrible,” and “What was your favorite commercial?” we officially entered the doldrums of February, that will stick around up until pitchers and catchers report. I wonder if the creators of Valentine’s Day intentionally chose a date on which no sporting events exist for men to use as an excuse to opt out of expensive dinners.

I know, I know, I could be watching the NBA or the NHL regular seasons . . . but why would I want to do that? Then there’s always college basketball, but watching those games just makes me wish it were March. I guess I could get all interested in this NHL players gambling scandal, but I seem to be missing what’s so scandalous about people betting on a sport they have nothing to do with.

On the bright side, I think I will actually watch the Winter Olympics next week. I realize other Frappe writers have come out to trash talk this international competition, but I’m going to treat this event like a vacation from sports. Since I don’t really care who wins, I won’t have my emotional state fractured by the outcomes. And since most of the time I have little idea what’s going on, I can’t get mad at the judges. It’s the perfect little segue, taking us right into March Madness and Spring Training.

No matter how you view it, it’s much better than arguing over whether or not Joe Montana should have participated in Sunday’s pregame ceremonies, which is probably the next topic Knowledge Droppings will throw at us anyways.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What's In A Name?

posted by IntrinsicBent

Think Candlestick Park and what does that name conjure up?  For me it was a rare opportunity to see the Say Hey kid play on a rare televised baseball game.  Before Hank Aaron caught fire, it was the Giant’s Willie Mays that gave a serious run at the Babe’s home run record before his skills diminished.

I usually think change is a good thing.  But I have to tell you that there is a trend in baseball, and sports in general that I can’t get with.  

It’s the corporate facility naming rights sponsorship.  It’s Big Business slapping their brand on the wall of your favorite team’s field, stadium, or gym.  These spaces used to be reserved for the team, the town the team resided in, or a past legend that had meant something special to the town or team.

Let’s stay with baseball as our example because of all American sports, baseball seems to value tradition most.  Let’s also go back to what we’ll call Giant’s Field………for now.

I understand to compete in this day and age of modern professional sports that sometimes it’s necessary to relocate into a new state of the art facility.

I guess I even understand building a stadium near the water where a bunch of misfits can sit in the bay in a canoe, usually with a helmet (is a helmet really necessary?) waiting to slap the water with their paddles like a maniac at the first sign of a homerun ball.  The irony here is that an official NL baseball at any memorabilia/card shop can be had for $10 - $12.  Of course after it is waterlogged, the value goes down to about $1.29.  It’s safe to say that I don’t see these guys as big of “fans” as they do.  They are to fans what Star Wars geeks are to astronauts.

Home stadiums should be part of tradition.  Your Mom and Dad don’t have new names every other time you go to their house.  It would kill your lineage and feeling of belonging, wouldn’t it?

Other than millions of dollars, why should a team’s fans have to endure having a yard go from Pacbell Park to SBC Park to AT&T Park?

It’s only a matter of time until a player resembles a NASCAR driver when he strolls to the plate with endorsements from head to toe.

Why are we doomed to repeat our mistakes?  Did we not learn from history?  Of course, I’m spelling history E-N-R-O-N   F-I-E-L-D.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fractured Personality

posted by IntrinsicBent


I can’t believe that I’m only now aware of this situation. I know as the elder statesmen of the Sports Frappe many of you look up to me as the hip Father Figure/Older Brother/Weird Uncle that you never had. Or even thought you wanted. That was until your induction into the Frappe.

I have to admit that I blew it this time.

I heard from one of our moles that Washington Redskins’ running back Clinton Portis was showing up to press conferences and team meetings in disguise. I wrote it off to a bored athlete showing up in some weak Party City® mullet wig and plastic pimp suit.

Upon further investigation, my man is one serious multiple personality syndrome sufferer. None of his personalities are named Sybil as far as my research shows.

It will surprise none of you that I was a big comic guy growing up. My new favorite running back has a serious, well thought out cast of characters. They have story lines, with one being dead and other characters looking for him. There’s a coach character whose bio says he should replace a specific Washington Redskin coach. There are allegations of money theft by the league, as well as mention of other NFL players.

My personal favorite one is Dolla Bill (pictured). What can I say, I’m a colorful dude.

One haunting factor of this whole ordeal is the fact that many of these characters seem to be separated at birth from one young Mr. George Clinton. Hmmm………….George Clinton………………Clinton Portis. Was Mrs. Portis a huge Parliament/Funkadelic/Brides Of Funkenstein fan, or is there more to the story?

I know………..Enquiring minds want to know. But this is not one of those type of blogs.

I’m not clear on what this has to do with football. It seems it might easily be a distraction. Who knows, maybe you need a distraction if you’re a Redskin. I never heard of any of this going on during Portis’ time with the Denver Broncos. Coach Shanahan is a pretty serious cat. Maybe it wasn’t until Clinton landed in Washington that he felt comfortable enough to break his “friends” out. Maybe the costumes just weren’t warm enough for the Rocky Mountain climate.

The one question that I’d like to hear someone ask Clinton Portis?

Do Fries Go With That Shake?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Ultimate SuperBowl Question

posted by Knowledge Droppings

Knowledge Droppings:  Today’s topic: Which Super Bowl party would you rather go to: a sweet house with a nice television where no one pays attention to the game, or a little apartment without enough couch space where everyone is really into it?  (You can assume, of course, that I’d be there blending your Frappes at either location.)

BiCoastal Bias:  Thank you, Droppings, your loyalty has been noted; and please, not so much whipped cream on the next one.

This one is easy; give me the crowded apartment with the real fans.  I don’t mind sitting on the floor; that just gives me a better proximity to the seven-layer dip.  And in a room with a bunch of slackers who probably didn’t bring any contributions to the game day snacks, being close to the dip is crucial because you know it’s not going to last past the national anthem.  

Granted, my viewpoint might be skewed because last year I got the phone number of the girl sitting on the floor next to me . . .  (Now that’s just shameless, touting my own horn in the form of a confession, how do you like them apples?)  But seriously, picture yourself sitting in front of an amazing television screen in a comfortable living room.  Now you are having an emotional reaction to the wonderful feat of athleticism in high definition; while everyone around you is having an emotional reaction to the choice of interior design on the walls.  The worst part is after a commercial break for a reviewed call, and the buzz of laughter from P. Diddy’s “Brown and Bubbly” Diet Pepsi song hasn’t died down in time for you to understand the ref’s explanation.  

No way, put me in a room with real fans.  I want people who are impressed by my clever insights on the 3-4 defense, who understand the significance of a Super Bowl MVP who is missing one ACL, and who already know that Jerramy Stevens’ dropped pass is not reviewable because the play was already whistled dead.  And of course, getting a phone number when it’s all said and done is just icing on the cake . . .

Money Mouth:  I really only need to say one thing here: HDTV.  If you’ve ever watched a major sporting event on HDTV, specifically a football game, then you know what I’m talking about.  It’s better than viewing the game live.  So when I have the choice of watching the Super Bowl on an HDTV 55” big screen versus watching the game on a 28” TV where the optimal viewing area is five feet from the screen but I end up having to position myself behind the guy with too much hair, I’ll take the HDTV any day.  I don’t even care if everyone who attends the party is an ex-girlfriend of mine; it’s that good.

But even more influential in my decision to go the party where no one is interested is found in the fact that if I go to the other party then I’ll have to listen to the guy who thinks he knows everything about the NFL.  Now, it wouldn’t be that bad if I had to sit next to the guy who really did know everything about the NFL including the advantages of running a cover-2 defense on short yardage situations, but this guy only thinks he knows everything about football and he’s guaranteed to be at the crowded apartment sitting right next to me.  The problem is not only does he know nothing about the NFL but everything that comes out of his mouth is incorrect (which seems statistically impossible) and I must spend the next four downs explaining to him why in the world the referee would call offensive pass interference on Darrell Jackson.  I don’t even want to take the time to refute his argument for why Jerramy Stevens’ dropped pass should be reviewable because his argument rests on the phrase, “That’s dumb.  It just should be.”  I like the idea of a utopian party where everyone understands the intricacies of football and its rules, but its likelihood of happening is right up there with the chance of Bill Leavy overturning a call.

I like my football and I especially like it when I don’t have to listen to complete ignorance while I watch it.  If it takes me going to a party where most of the people are more into critiquing the Rolling Stones’ wardrobe during half-time instead of watching the opening kickoff, then I’ll go to that party.  It’s much better than leaving the party early to listen to the game in my car because ‘Tommy’ won’t stop telling me that he could have kept two feet in on a play that happened in the second quarter.  Plus, I can have full confidence there will be an abundance of Mountain Dew and steaks from the grill at the first house.  Think about it: the host has an HDTV; their fridge is guaranteed to be fully stocked and the only thing better than HDTV is free food.  

From Balcony to Bleachers

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Like most of the males in this country, the BiCoastal Bias has a sports addiction.  And like any addict, I’ll get my fix any way I can.  On Wednesday night, that meant sitting in the balcony of the Celtics game.  But Friday night, I found myself on the top row of bleachers at a high school girls’ basketball game, with the league championship on the line.  Hey, a free ride is a free ride, right?  This ticket came compliments of one of the most established assistant coaches of the Old Colony League.  

This freebie came with an added bonus; I actually got to meet a few of the world class athletes before the game.  Oddly enough, in person they seemed much more like giggly girls than rebound warriors.

So after meeting the girls, and then watching four quarters of great basketball, I suddenly found myself way more emotionally invested than I had expected.  I found myself thinking questions like, “What does Teri have to do to not get called for a foul,” and “Someone needs to tell Shelby to settle down, she’s throwing away all her inbound passes.”

At some point in the second overtime, I realized that I’d hit rock bottom.  What does it say about you when you’ve become the worst of the heckling parents, and yet you don’t have a child on the team?  While yelling, “Go home ref!” it occurred to me that if we didn’t win this game, I might not sleep tonight.

But we won . . . and the addiction continues.

With My Mind On My Money And My Money On My Mind

posted by IntrinsicBent

I think the two week gap we had to wait for the Super Bowl this year was perfect from a spacing standpoint. As far as the media milking themselves dry of meaningful topics and storylines, that usually takes about three days. This year it shrunk to two days which is about the time that it took for everyone to get ill hearing about Jerome Bettis going home and trying to get a ring before he retires. Yada, yada, yada.

The Super Bowl is THE game of the world. It is the Kong competition in all of sports in scope, hype, pizza sales, and drama. It was the first championship contest that rendered the fallen team a huge loser instead of considering them second place in the land. In many ways, this game epitomizes America itself. The beauty, and warts.

So I’m watching Leno earlier this week, and Snoop Dogg comes on and starts talking about how he’s been a Steelers fan since he was a kid. What?

The Frappe is officially placing you on our bandwagon watch. You’ve been spotted in more colors of jerseys than David Wells and Nick Van Exel combined.

C’mon Snoopaloop, first you form a group called The Eastsidaz, then you won’t even run to the quad with us.

What’s next, you gonna cut one of those American ballad records with your boy Rod Stewart? Or will People magazine run pictures of you and P. Diddy playing tennis? Or will you just follow your favorite receiver Jerry Rice to Dancing With The Stars? Which Jerry did you prefer, the one that played on your favorite 49ers team or your favorite Raiders team? You do know he played for the Seahawks don’t you?

Later in the week, Snoop was on Fox Sports’ BDSSP talking about how Coach Cowher told him he was unofficially an official coach for the Steelers. Uhh, that’s called a spectator, bro.

SoCal is full of banged up sports fans that get injured constantly from jumping on and off the old bandwagon.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Winter Wonderland

posted by MoneyMouth

I came to the realization today that I don’t care about the Winter Olympics and probably will never care about them. With the games only 7 days away, I know virtually nothing about the participants besides Bode Miler who is the skiing equivalent to the NFL’s “Fred Ex” or MLB’s Jose Canseco. He’s the guy that said in a Rolling Stone Magazine interview that Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds are cheaters and that they don’t ask questions when their doctor gives them a box of pills (steroids). It’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean he needed to say it.

The Winter Olympics has however taught me a valuable lesson about the nature of chest painters. I now know that if I ever become a chest painter and one of the members of my chest painting group becomes ill, or in this particular case, falls through the ice into a lake, I will be so devastated by the loss of a crucial letter that I will disregard his personal health and wellbeing and force him to stay. Apparently, if faced by the two horrible tragedies of death versus losing the ‘S’ in USA, having the ‘S’ takes priority over death 100% of the time. Who knew?

Back to what I was saying: I’ve discovered that my disinterest of the Winter Olympics stems from two issues. First is that most of the athletes in the Winter Olympics are unknown. This is obviously true for the Summer Olympics too, but the Summer Olympics have a greater marketability and consequently—mostly because their faces are actually displayed while they are competing—stars like Michael Johnson, Rulon Gardner, and Kerri Strug are people I can recognize on the street. When an event only happens every four years, I lack any history with the athletes that participate. I can’t invest myself emotionally into these athletes nor can I remember their side stories or even keep them straight for that matter. Hence, every athlete is just a name of someone who is supposed to be the best at their sport from my country and I only end up getting frustrated by the fact that I didn’t know they were the worst at that sport when competing against the entire world.

The other problem that creates the bitter taste in my mouth concerning the Winter Olympics is due to the fact that a lot of the events have some sort of subjective judging that somehow plays a part in the deciding of a winner. Whether its figure skating (which is now trying to do some damage control after the controversy in Utah), freestyle skiing, or Nordic combined, I as the viewer can’t tell who is supposed to win. I can watch twenty different ski jumps off the large hill and then not be able to tell you who deserves the gold let alone who the top 5 jumpers were. It’s similar to when I open the hood of my car due to some engine trouble. I can identify if I need to add some fluid to the engine, but unless there is a neon sign pointing to the problematic area along with an interactive DVD explaining how to fix it, I’m lost.

It’s for both of these reasons that 9 out of 10 times I’ll choose the X-Games over the Winter Olympics. In the X-Games, I know that Sean White is the man when it comes to slopestyle snowboarding because I can remember the fact that he was awesome the year before. And when watching the judged events, I can identify the fact that a switch 1080 melon grab is way sicker than a Misty Flip 360. When it comes to a triple axle or Lutz, the only thing that I know to say is, “Neat. Didn’t the last skater do the exact same thing?” The only 1 out of 10 times that I’ll end up tuning in is to watch the single most scary and death-defying event ever created: the skeleton (80mph head first down the bobsled run). Unfortunately, I probably won’t even watch the skeleton this year because in case you forgot, I don’t care.

The Denver Raiders?

posted by IntrinsicBent

Yeah, I know……if you’re a Broncos’ fan, them’s fighting words.  But hear me out on this for a minute.

Number one, I’m not sure that any Head Coach of a major sport can add General Manager duties to his task list and perform effectively as a Coach and GM.  Often times it leads to a watering down in both positions and ultimate franchise meltdown.

Is it possible that Shanahan’s time spent working for Al Davis rubbed off on him?  Denver fans and management should have a contingency plan in place in the event that Shanahan starts sporting those funky jumpsuits Davis lives in.

Shanahan rescued Jake Plummer out of the desolate desert of Arizona to replace Bob Griese’s kid.  This move looked like it was bearing fruit this year until the wheels (hooves) fell off against the AFC champion Steelers in the playoffs.  This project (Plummer) is still only a project at this point.  It appeared to this humble genius that Plummer melted faster than a popsicle in a sauna in his biggest game as a professional.  This has been a recurring QB theme for mile high fans since number 7 retired.  I guess going separated at birth with Johnny Damon this year didn’t help break Plummer’s version of his curse either.

The Broncos picked up hard hitting safety John Lynch from Al Davis’ other dysfunctional son Jon Gruden.  This was a solid pickup, no denying that.  Scoreboard Coach Shanahan.  But it was like 7’6” Manute Bol blocking a shot in the paint.  Easy.

If he would have stopped his Davism there, you could dismiss me as a hater and would be able to stop reading here.  C’mon Frapper, you know I’m setting you up to take your knees out from under you.

Maurice Clarett.

I could close my laptop now and walk away knowing that the reality of my insight has dazzled you and made you sit in front of your monitor, mouth slightly agape.
  
But I’m not done yet.  

Some of you apologists are thinking, “yeah Intrinsic, but Clarett was worth a roll of the dice if he would have turned it around he might have been a low cost high yield performer.”

Maybe, but somehow the player that looked, acted, and sounded like a malcontent ended up being………………………….well, a malcontent.  Plus who talks like that? (low cost high yield performer, that is)

I submit that the Broncs did take a hit on that one.  At minimum, it focused the spotlight on the franchise and coach/GM.  For all the wrong reasons.

There are much scarier warning signs coming out of the Bronco’s franchise recently.  What about reports that Shanahan has expressed interest in T.O. and/or Ricky Williams?  Danger, Will Robinson.

Why screw up a team that looks close by bringing in the Terrell Owens circus?  Hang on to the memories of that past solid citizen Terrell (Davis), and don’t risk tainting the team you’ve worked so hard to get back into contention shape.  And yes, I’ve heard the argument that goes, “Shanahan won’t play that, look how he broke off Clarett.”  I have two words for that argument: Philadelphia Eagles.  Are they better for having experienced the T.O. road show?

As far as Ricky Williams, I admire that he seems to have centered himself, given up the hippy lettuce and now seemingly says and does the right things.  I’m a huge believer in second chances.  But I saw someone in Williams this past season that was a shadow of his former self.  He is a big roll of the dice.  

It is a very fine line between being a playoff contender and being a team that’s taken giant backward progress steps.  Taking huge gambles on players will usually swing you hard in one of these directions.  And often times kill chemistry and coaching jobs along the way.

Here’s hoping Darth Vader doesn’t start showing up in your stands Bronco fans.

      

Thursday, February 02, 2006

In the Balcony

posted by BiCoastal Bias

So my roommate got us free tickets to the Celtics vs. Suns game last night; as I’ve been wanting to go to a Celtics game since I’ve moved here, I accepted the offer.  I’ve only been to a handful of NBA games in my life, as I’m not quite a big enough basketball fan to dole out the cash needed to attend these events.  I got even more excited when I noticed the price listed on our complimentary tickets, $45.  Finally, I was going to see how the other half lives.  

Apparently, the other half really likes to sit as high up as possible, because our seats turned out to be in the “balcony.”  I figured NBA games were kind of like the old theatre, where the rich folks sat in their balcony boxes, or whatever it is they’re called.  For the first half, we sat up on our perch, and squinted to watch a terrible half of basketball.  The hometown team was greeted with boos as they allowed the Suns any perimeter shot they so desired, while on the offensive end of the court, their ball-movement was akin to Al Bundy’s Sunday exercise routine.  The Suns halftime lead: 21 points.

Don’t worry, this isn’t an “NBA sucks” blog, we don’t do that here at the Frappe; but only because the second half got a whole lot more interesting.  

Think there’s no defense in the NBA?  The C’s started off the 3rd quarter by shutting out the league’s best ranked offense for 4 minutes.  Think superstars don’t hustle?  Don’t tell Paul Pierce that, who outscored the whole Phoenix roster in the 3rd, 20 to 16, while single-handedly willing his team back into a game the entire arena had given up on.

It helped my perspective that sometime in the second half, my roommate and I decided to give up our prestigious balcony seats, and find a seat on the floor level with the commoners.  I was quite surprised then, to find Troy Brown of the New England Patriots only a few rows away from us, I have a whole new respect for this celebrity whose unafraid to watch a game with the rest of the average Joes sitting courtside.  

In the end, the Celtics still lost.  It was a career night for Pierce, who scored 40 points, and yet he still found a way to prove that he’s not a fourth quarter player, missing two layups and 3 of 4 foul shots in the final frame.  But the night was definitely complete, right down to a “Wally sucks” chant taking the place of the normal Boston sports fans’ Yankees suck mantra.  (Wally Szczerbiak, the newest member of the Celtics, was 1 for 9 on the night, proving that yes, he could use some improvement.)

The lesson learned:  show up at halftime and don’t go up more than one set of escalators no matter what your ticket says.