Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Return of the Jedi

And so, in a just a couple of hours, the Philadelphia 76ers open the curtain on their 2007-2008 campaign of thrilling mediocrity. And once again, as it has for so many years past, the fate of the team, and with it the hopes and dreams of the 7 or 8 people that still follow the Sixers, rest squarely upon the corduroy-suited shoulders of our favorite mercurial big man, seen below giving dap to Philly icons the RAM Squad.


The Sixers will not be good.

The once Titanic division is no more so...the woeful Celtics frontline of Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson being suddenly transformed into a frightening frontcourt tandem of Kevin Garnett and, well, at least they still have Kendrick Perkins.

The Nets still have Richard Jefferson, Viet Cong and of course J-Kidd, plus another year of improvement from Marcus Williams and Nenad Krstic and the addition of future Sammy D Team Canada teammate Jamaal Magloire, who is sort of a rich man's version of Calvin Booth, which is at least not as bad as being Calvin Booth himself.

Even the Knicks, having gotten rid of Stevie Franchise in return for Zach Randolph have at least traded a backcourt cancer for a proven frontcourt cancer, always a step in the right direction in an eastern conference where the power forwards are 'Sheed and a buncha semi-serviceable fuckbergs. We can only hope Big Zach is shot in the leg by one of Remy Martin's entourage members before he settles into the swing of things.



Which brings us back to the boys in black, with newly instituted red piping down the side. Who exactly are these Sixers? What do we know about them? What can we expect?

What we know: very little.

We know Andre Miller is a quality, veteran point guard with the proven ability to run a basketball team with grace and aplomb and hit a few mid range fadeaways when called upon to do so.

We know Kyle Korver can shoot, is a mediocre though no longer horrendous defender, and can be counted upon to average 12-15 ppg in 25 - 30 mpg off the bench.

We know Kevin Ollie is not very good, is paid too much money, and will not see the light of day on this young team until come December when his expiring deal becomes trade fodder.

Aside from that, everyone on this team is an enigma.

Andre "Don't Call Me Iggy" Iguodala: a burgeoning superstar in need of only a nickname to etch his name on the pantheon of east all stars for the next 10 years? Or a perennial Pippen, forever scouring the basketball middle earth in search of his Jordan.

Rodney Carney: A rich man's Hot Rod Hundley? Or a poor man's Rodney Buford?

LWIII: Is he ready to be like Leandro Barbosa, a quicksilvery combo guard that's unstoppable once he decides its time to score bushels and bushels of points? Or will he turn out more like Felix Barbosa from Deep Cover, and get stabbed in the throat by Charles Martin Smith.

And what of Jason Smith, Young Thad, Louis Amundsun-Scott, and of course, the enigma that renders all other enigmas unenigmatic, the one and only Dalembert.

What can we expect?

Socrates (or was it R. Kelly?) once famously said that the only true knowledge lies in knowing that you know nothing. Unless the unthinkable happens, this Sixers team will not win 40 games (though shit, 36 wins could be playoff worthy in the east this year). But the true joy will be in watching all these enigmas/basketball players try to establish themselves as a part of the Sixers future (a positive part, not like a Kevin Ollie part). It's like taking all the shit you have left in your fridge and throwing it into a gigantic crockpot with some hot sauce and maybe like a little bit of seasoning and seeing what flavors stand out. And seeing whether the mixture tastes like Filet Mignon or if it tastes like dog food.

The Sixers gave us a tantalizing taste of the good stuff at the end of last year. Lets hope it wasn't all just bacon bits.

Friday, October 12, 2007

CRACK ATTACK!



I awoke the other morning finally ready to publicly deal with the disastrous results produced by the Phillies meek attempt at playing playoff baseball. I knew it would be a rough undertaking, which I can admit I was not looking forward to, but my respect and admiration for the loyal DR readership transcended my personal demons and fueled me to put the pen to the pad and spew a diatribe the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Rizzo administration.

Then it happened.

Most, if not all, generations have their share of sobering moments. Pearl Harbor, the A-Bomb, the assassination of JFK, who shot JR, 9-11...the list of these events is long and evokes emotion, memories and all those responses associated with truly historical moments, especially those that had the added element of total surprise. This was not one of those moments. In fact, file this one even higher than Irish people getting drunk on the list of least surprising shit that has ever happened.

Yes folks, life proved not to be a true fan, and was indeed cruel to Bobby Brown, dealing him his first in what is sure to be a long string of heart attacks. He's 38.

Brown's spokesperson attributed the attack to diet and stress, which must be the fancy new term for crack and malt liquor, because the best part about being a career drunk and basehead is that you're too damn wasted to be stressed about anything. Well, maybe with the exception of that little, multicolored, unidentified creature who is following you around trying desperately to kill you, but is so damn quick and chameleon-like that no one else can actually see it and then they tend do hurtful shit like label you as "insane", but I digress.

The point is that yes, the Phils shit the bed BIG TIME, but take some time to think about what's really important. This damn good team will be around for quite awhile and there truly is always next season, but can we honestly say that about Bobby Brown? Break out your Don't Be Cruel album, put Roni on repeat, fake hump something (bonus points if you pretend it's an underaged fan) and remember the good times. Because you may very well be in the middle of a 2008 World Series celebration, but what will there truly be to celebrate if you didn't take the time to say goodbye to a great crackhead?

So, join me as I take a moment to salute Bobby and let him know that he will be missed. But remember, don't pour any liquor out, Bobby wouldn't have wanted to see booze wasted.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We are at the Party, Why not Dance?

Phillies Fans,

It recently struck me as odd that Phightin Phils was even considered a legitimate nickname and not an ironically cute joke; how could a team that so often failed to show any fight possibly use fight in the nickname? Well, whether or not I've stumbled upon a linguistical and anthropological dilemma for smart people to delve into to, the important point is that we finally have a Phillies team with some actual fisticuff potential.

I, like you, am swollen with pride for the 2007 Phightin Phils. However, watching them lose today in Game 1 of the Division Series made me realize how awful it would be for the dream to end so soon. The fact is, making it to the playoffs is great, losing to an expansion team that plays in a ballpark named for the Coors family is unacceptable.

How quickly moods can swing in sports. Earlier today I was free and loose, swaggering around town with the easy smile of Texas cheerleader, bounding with confidence in Cole Hamels, in our home fans, in our fight. That lasted exactly 1.5 innings, at which point the clock struck midnight, my carriage was replaced by a pumpkin and the easy-going demeanor flew straight out the window, bitter expletives nipping at its heels.

Being a sports fan can be hard work. Being a Philadelphia sports fan is manual labor. One of the hardest feats is maintaining a genuine sliver of positivity in this sweat shop of athletic failure. Staying positron in Philly is akin to achieving transcendence in Buddism.....or something like that. I often stay safely in glass-is-half-empty territory, but once a team gets into the playoffs or exceeds expectations, like this Phillies team has, it's time to push all the chips on the table and buckle up.

That's why this team needs to win. Today. However, just in case, I'd like to inform you loyal readers that earlier this evening I began detailing in my mind the road to the playoffs for the 2007-2008 76ers, a team sure to keep us all on the edge of our seats, both cheering and vomiting. So let us keep the faith in Philly sports, in upcoming seasons of untouched art, and in the hard work of watching it all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Back in the USSR


Hah hah! Just kidding Phillies fans! I am back in the tri-state area at last, and courtesy of my good friend Tragedy Quaddafi aka the Intelligent Hoodlum who lives in Queens, I was able to procure some fantastic reading about my least favorite baseball team - the Mets. You see, the Mets are full of Dominicans of the non-Abraham Nunez - those who are more adept with the bat than with the glove, and who oftentimes are seen crossing over the border to practice their particular brand of Pedro Martinez-inspired homosexuality on the poor oppressed people of rural Haiti.

Now, I have nothing against the Sodomites as rule. In fact, I am ace rollies with the well-known carrier John Amaechi, as we are both technically subjects of the Queen (Elizabeth, not Freddy Mercury, though I am a fan of his as well).

But these Mets, on the other hand, are the worst kind of pillow-biters. Which is why I was so thrilled to be reading about how badly they sucked it up (pun intended) at the end of the season. These headlines really are too fantastic not to share with you, my faithful readers. And so here they are:
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Monday, October 1, 2007

Surrealism


I mean, I'm speechless. As much as we all hoped this would happen, not one of us believed that it actually could. Wild card, maybe. Doubtful, but we thought maybe, possibly it could happen. Anyone who though we would win the division (with the exception, maybe, of J Roll) is a lying sack of deuce.

I was in Dallas this weekend, and as such didn't see any of the games. Which, we all decided, was probably for the best. Could I have handled the stress of Sunday? Probably. Would it have taken years off my life? Almost definately.

Let's not beat around the bush: getting into the playoffs is what matters. I would have been just as happy to get in under the auspices of the wild card as winning the division. But to get in at the expense of the Mets makes it all the better. It's kind of like the Phillies were Coach Kevin and the Mets were Steve Capanna. Or more apropo, though no less homoerotic, it's like the Phillies were Pat Burrell, the Mets were "Up to the Elbow" Mike Piazza, and Sunday afternoon was actually Friday night in Chelsea. In the 80's.

I don't particularly hate the Mets, but I do hate their recent success. Which made me feel not the slightest bit of pity for Colin as he watched his teams last best hope collapse in an inferno of first inning mayhem. Mack, your boys should know better than to fuck with Hanley Ramirez. And because I don't really have any better way of describing it, here's the weekend in text messages, courtesy of C Mack Mets Fan.

Friday 10:35pm

Colin: the losingest franchise in sports history is about to go into first place. congrats my friend.
Me: Mets game's over yet
Colin: I'm breaking out the cyanide
Me: You should probably begin construction of your own guillotine. Just in case.
Colin: And I think before I use it, I'll test it on Wagner.

Saturday 3:07pm


Colin: Mets are taking care of business today, will the phillies beat the mighty Nats?
Me: Doubt it. Eaton is pitching
Colin: Eaton could be my new hero. Hopefully Burrell has spread an outbreak of crab lice around the clubhouse to make things extra uncomfortable. I will buy an Adam Eaton jersey tomorrow if he blows this thing.

Saturday 7:07pm

Colin: Shit's tied up again.

Sunday 1:07pm

Me: Who you got pitching?
Colin: Glavine. Could go either way. The Marlins are talking a lot of shit about how they are gonna kick our ass.
Me: Glavine is your best pitcher. I think you gotta deal with Dontrelle though.
Colin: Who's going for you? I got the game on right now - shit's nerve wracking.
Me: Moyer. I'm still in Bid D. Gonna be flying during the end of the game - Phils need me closer to God.
Colin: Mets losing 4-0 cuz Glavine's a pussy.
Colin: Glavine's out after one third of an inning, 5-0, bases loaded.
Me: placed call
Colin: 7-0. Disgrance. I feel like I'm dreaming.
Me: Me too. It's gonna hurt so bad when the Phillies blow it.
Colin: Mets miss a grand slam by 2 feet. I haven't been this heartbroken since high school prom. Phils up 1-0.
Me: I'm stressed out and I'm not even watching.
Colin: Delgado broke his wrist. 3-0 Phils.
Me: Getting on plane. if the Phils manage to fuck this up it will be the worst thing ever.
Colin: Your probably in the air, but its official - you get to enjoy october baseball. and the national league is wide open. Hit it to me J Roll. Hit it to me.