Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My peoples:
I write to you as a different man. No longer do I have Fridays off, free to nap, watch Saved by the Bell reruns, and appreciate the virtues of a ceiling fan all day long. No longer can I complain about three hours of obligation in a working day, or the fear of being called on to contribute to class discussion. Yes, my peoples, law school is officially a thing of the past. I am now one step closer to reaching my objective in life: becoming Greg Thall. On a gloomy rainy May day a few weeks ago, this happened. Soon thereafter I dropped my fake law degree as I paraded across the Dean Dome stage, an ominous sign if there ever was one. But with school in the rear view mirror, I find myself asking: where will this degree lead the Big Firm? Perhaps my JD plus the quick departure of my hair will lead me to this. Perhaps my JD will help me become a defender of my favorite people, and better yet, forge friendships with these clients. Most importantly, it's only a matter of time before I have the opportunity to sexually harass a paralegal...while also not being a paralegal. Ah, living the dream.

And since graduation, a lot has happened. I've been on 6 airplanes, lost 20 golf balls in Bermuda, ate four Chicago hot dogs (that in all honesty resemble a hoagie placed on top of a hot dog), waited in line 45 minutes for a Tony Luke's cheesesteak, went to the top of City Hall, and turned 28 (to those of you who forgot, you are dead to me). Action packed two weeks, indeed. But really, not too much has changed. Sure, I am now of a learned profession, as they call it. But I still find this funny. And better yet, I'm even told that I'm allowed to find that funny. Go ahead, try to watch the first video and not sing the song for the rest of the day, I dare you. That's one talented young mentally challenged man.

The Phils are marching along at a steady pace. Win three, lose two...score 15 runs, follow it up with a 20 run effort. Brett Myers concerns me. Not only is his facial hair and ever-expanding belly a concern of epic proportions, but we all know where his continued slide will lead. That's right, it will lead straight to domestic abuse, which of course, is no laughing matter. Any chance Mr. Myers is taking his rage out on say, the weight room? Negatron. On a Cheesesteak? Perhaps. Any chance his wife has bought another home or a gun of her own? Without a doubt. Personally, I'm happy where we are. The Marlins will not keep this up, the Braves will be tough throughout the year, but true to my bitter resentment and hatred of other people, the best development if this young season is the Mets. The Mets are a rapidly evolving shit-show. Their manager is a DUI away from getting fired, their latin players refuse to submit to interviews, and they even have Marlon Anderson playing left field. He's a second baseman people! If the Phils lose the division to the Mets, its the worst day of my life. If the Phils win the division its the greatest day in my life. If the Phils win the division and the Mets finish in last, my head might explode. And speaking of my Phils, we have 7 runs through three innings tonight. Niccccccce.

And then there's the NBA playoffs. I officially hate all four teams left. But I still must watch the NBA playoffs. I mean after all, they are on tv, and I can't disrespect my tv. So on that note, I have weighed the pros and cons of each team to decide who to root for, and rendered my first important verdict as a representative of the legal profession:

The Lakers:
The CONS: Well, pretty much everything. Put simply, I can't root for them. It's pretty black and white, actually. Though ultimately I have very little against the bulk of their team, essentially, it boils down to Kobe, his fake smile, his tone of voice etc...Need I remind you people, and the world at large, that he is a convicted rapist?! Sure, I use the word "convicted" somewhat liberally, but he's a rapist no less. Actually, now that I think about it, Odom is really the only player I don't detest. Walton is intolerable. Farmar looks like he might be related to the retarded policeman. The European dude looks slimy. Ronny Turiaf has no proper place on the planet.

The PROS: As I said, I got love for Odom. I also like saying the words "Vlad Rad." Pau is also pretty damn likeable, if not for his fluid footwork, certainly for his disgusting beard and inability to close his mouth. Something tells me that when Ginobili is guarding Pau, and neither are acting civilized, the stench is suffocating. Their armpit hair scares me.

The VERDICT: It's official, I can't root for the Lakers. That leaves me with three options.

The Celtics:
The CONS: Their players really are the least of my worries. Their fans are a much more significant problem. I actually kind of like their players, with certain exceptions. Always like KG, always at least respected Pierce and Jesus Shuttlesworth. And who can hate PJ Brown? But the fact remains that if the Celtics win the championship, that means the Boston fans will have celebrated titles for three of their four teams...repeatedly, in the last 6 or 7 years. That means some little shit from Waltham or Newton or worse yet Lexington, possibly only in second grade, will be so sick of parades by this point that he might not even attend. That just doesn't seem fair.

The PROS: There aren't many, I must admit. Their most famous fan might be Michael Bivens, which is ok in my book. And they do have a guy named Leon Powe, which is pretty awesome. But really, who am I kidding. A Celtics title would be largely insufferable. I wash my hands of them, so the Cs are out.

The Spurs:
The CONS: they have way too many Euros. As Chief Naka has pointed out, Ginobili's bald spot might go down as the most distracting physical shortcoming this side of Frank Beamer's goiter. Their best player is at best boring, and at worst, 1/ 2 robot. Their point guard is too fast, and I can't barely follow the little bugger around without glasses. They have more washed up veterans than the '96 Rockets. Their coach strikes me as a bad person, which may or may not be connected to what I assume was a traumatic acne filled childhood. They've also won a lot recently, and no one seems to give a shit. So while another Spurs championship wouldn't necessarily bother me, it would only make me smile if the Celtics suffered because of it.

The PROS: Three words for you: Big Shot Bob. You might think it's easy to win 8 championships, but need I remind you that he is also a mean spirited superhero? Try as you may, no one can convince me not to like Bob Horry.

The VERDICT: Better than the Lakers and the Celtics, but not a team I need to see win this thing again. That leaves us with the best of the worst...

The Pistons:
The CONS: They very well might be the ugliest team in the history of sports. Lets make a Mr. Potato head with their players. Start with Rip Hamilton's goatee. Then give him Chauncey's huge mouth and Rasheed's teeth. Throw in Tayshaun's complexion, build, and black man freckles. Give 'em Maxiell's furled brow, Sheed's hair, and throw a mask in front of it all and you have one ugly human being. On top of that, , they beat my squad. And did it in a sort of terrible way. First dick teasing by putting up little effort, missing shots, letting Sammy D go bananas on them one night, only to reassert their superior talent, reveal our best player to be nothing more than a glorified dunker, and plot forward. What's more, they beat my other favorite team in the East, the Magic. As far as their players are concerned, they have one redeeming Sheed, but mostly bland, boring, and frustrating contributors.

The PROS: Would I be totally bummed if the Pistons won? No. Would I be happy? Probably not. Relieved that one of the other four didn't win? That sounds likely. The fact of the matter is I know not a soul from Detroit, so them winning wouldn't cause me personal anguish. And they have a corrupt black mayor, so maybe they deserve it. And living in Detroit sounds generally awful, so why not give them a[nother] title. They also have only ONE white guy, and he's European I think, which both explains why they are good and why I could support them going forward. Additionally, I was on the Pistons when I was a kid, and we had a guy by the name of Matt Gordy. And thinking of Matt Gordy makes me happy, if not a little disturbed.

The VERDICT: If they win, no biggie. If they lose, it's only sad because one of the other three remaining teams won. So, I say ride with the Pistons, it's our only choice.

Long live the DR.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Sundays can start with such promise and end with the sluggish ennui of an awkward and protracted slow dance. In the sixth grade. To Stairway To Heaven. My own underwhelming history aside, this past Sunday offered two scoops of shit for any Philly fan who spent the day watching sports while listening to booming thunderclaps in the distance. Had it not been for a truly inspiring weekend prior to Sunday I might have been upset. On to my letters of the week.

Dear Flyboys,
Hey guys, loved your spunk during the playoffs, even wrote about hockey while under your post-season spell, so maybe I should wait a day before writing to give myself a chance to gain some perspective. Or I could use my anger as creative inspiration and offer my perspective as of right now: TODAY WAS PATHETIC AND SHAMEFUL!! Granted, the Penguins appear to have a very good team. Granted, the game was in Pittsburgh. Granted, Braydon Coburn was still out of action with injury. Not granted, we didn't score a single goal. Not granted, we let them score six. Not granted, I stopped watching with half the game left. Looking back at what I've written I see that anger doesn't always translate into creative genius, so maybe I should take my anger elsewhere and move on. I only want to make clear that as a fan I don't find a 6-0 loss in an elimination game palatable in anyway. I would even say it is unacceptable, except I have no sane and legal way of not accepting a team losing a hockey game; sadly, as Philly fans, all we do is accept defeat, add another layer of cynic's asbestos to our attic of dismay, and wait for the soonest possible happy hour. Sorry Flyers, I've gotten off course. Thanks for a fun and unpredictable season. Re-sign Jeff Carter. Sign and trade RJ Umberger. And give Mike Richards the C already!

Disgusted Today but Hopeful Tomorrow,
Chief Naka

Dear Lebron,
I know you get a lot of fan mail, autograph requests from kids and dork adults, money requests and dubious business proposals from "friends", and of course tons of underwear and naked pictures from females. And I know you don't read it, save for the truly exceptional panty offerings. I, despite dorky moments, a tendency to conceive of dubious business proposals, and a genuine fondness for panties, do not consider myself in any of the above categories. I just want to say I was rooting for you today, and when I say you I mean you, because rooting for the Cavs means rooting for you, because everybody else on your team is garbage. The second best player on the team, Delonte West, besides being horrible to look at, is no better than the 6th or 7th best player on any of the teams still playing. And you almost pulled it off. So cheers to you for being a beast. And let me make sure we understand each other: I'm not a fan of yours in a specific sort of way, but I recognize your unique place in the game and your importance to the league, and I look forward to seeing you one day scoring 50 points, racking up 18 assists, 15 rebounds, 10 turnovers, and one stern curse out of your rowdy mother. Also, any chance you want to play in Philly? Great food, unparalleled beard style, tons of violence. Think about it.

Get us Gold in Beijing,
Chief Naka

Dear Chris Matthews,
You annoy me but I have to give you props for exposing Kevin James(conservative radio shlub) as the loudmouth emptyhead that he, and many like him, are. Watch the clip here, but if you don't have the time Matthews presses James on comments he makes about Neville Chamberlain(Wilt's step-brother), and James has no idea what he's talking about. Love it. Chris, why don't you do more of this? I don't watch your show but I will think about it if there promises to be more of this behavior. Well, might not watch your show but will watch youtube clips people send to me.

Kudos Sucka,

Dear Manu Ginobili's Bald Spot,
You distract me. A lot. Can you hurry up and spread to the rest of Manu's head so that he gets the message and shaves his head? Is there something going on in Manu's personal life that requires him to keep you so horribly exposed and bare to the world? I feel for you, Bald Spot, but I also hate you and want you to stop distracting me. Plus, I already have a favorite Bald Spot, and it's more of a Dead Spot, and it belongs to my man 'Sheed Wallace, and if you're trying to start some sort of competition you will lose. And I hope you are eliminated tomorrow by Chris Paul, who may be bald but we don't know since he shaves his head. Brilliant!

Go Away Bald Spot,

Dear Bubak and Bride,
In all seriousness I want to thank you for a dope wedding on Saturday. It had everything, great people, delicious food, impromptu fireworks, and a yellow bus filled with drunken morons wielding weapons of dessert and belligerence. I'm happy for you guys, and honored to have been a part of it. My personal highlight is easy to choose: Bul Bubak, thriving in the joyous window of drunkenness after the requisite glad-handing and previous to the inevitable barf-a-rama, lighting fireworks and chasing friends while screaming, literally screaming, with delight. It was a great moment. Congrats again, and again and again.

Peace Mr. and Mrs. Jebronstein,


There's Only One Way To Settle This War...


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In Which Life is Good, Yet Inexorably Threatened by the Fucking Knicks

Tuesday evening was spent in the same manner as most recent evenings in the eldiablogrande household, which is to say sitting on the couch with a glass of something close to 100 proof in hand talking to the idiot box. Though the Sixies untimely exit was but weeks ago, it feels like an epoch, and though it's no doubt been a tragic separation, I can't help but find a silver lining in the whole affair. Freed from the constraints of a strong visceral connection to the playoffs (hatred of Boston notwithstanding) I've been at leisure to enjoy as a fan of basketball the unprejudiced beauty of whats become the Sergeant Pepper of NBA seasons.

Which is to say that although the Nuh-Buh of the 21st Century was great before this year (i.e. Rubber Soul, A Hard Day's Night, D-Wade's march to the '06 title), and even had some transcendant moments of unvarnished brilliance (side A of Revolver, LeBron's 27 straight on the Pistons in game 5), it's been only this April and May that combination of new jack psychedelics (LeBron, Deron, CP3) and classic harmonies (KG, Duncan, Kobe) have collided in one sublime album/playoffs that perfectly blend old and new while simultaneously signifying that nothing will ever be the same again.

And if the '08 NBA Playoffs are my Sergeant Pepper, who, you might ask, are the Beatles? Why, that would be a charming, often moppetish group of bald-headed geniuses who I've never met, but who I feel as though I know intimately and who I spend far more time with than any of my actual friends: the gang of Inside the NBA.

Inside the NBA is, quite simply, the Beatles of live television shows. Go ahead, name a better one. You'd really rather watch Simon Cowell eviscerate some poor autistic wannabe-William Hung neck-tatted tone-deaf transvestite who's decided that it would be the pinnacle of his/her life to be made fun of on national TV? Really? I know Paula is hilariously drunk/hopped on barbituates much of the time, but does she ever do this?

Anyway, if you don't love Inside the NBA you probably shouldn't be reading this blog in the first place. The fact of the matter is that I love that show like a fat kid loves cake, and I feel as though Charles, Kenny, EJ, Magic and me are the bestest of pals and we sit around and watch basketball and crack on each other and every once in a while in between jokes we offer erudite and poignant commentary on the games at hand.

But our rapport is a tenuous thing - Charles is a bit of a blowhard (Paul) and EJ is a bit of a dork (George), and without Kenny (John) sitting in the middle to balance it all out our conversations would soon turn into meaningless white noise. (The parallels of Magic and Ringo - lovable yet ultimately superfluous doofuses who will ultimately wind up playing a jovial conductor on Shining Time Station - are both too obvious to point out and too delicious not too).

Kenny is somehow equal parts jock and nerd, a former slam dunk champ who's also able to extract penetrating nuggets of info from a basketball game and explain them clearly and simply, while simultaneously injecting the requisite amount of humor and keeping just the right balance between the rest of the group. He's the one that's irreplaceable. He's the sour mix in the long island, the panama hat atop the cream linen suit, the invisible double sided tape holding up the runway model's titties - without him, the whole thing falls apart.

And guess who wants to tear my beloved Kenny away from me? Who wants to break up my favorite band just when they've hit their finest moment? Who would callously put their own pathetic and inconsequential self-interest ahead of me, but more importantly ahead of millions of ratings-generating innocent NBA fans? You guessed it:

Oh sure, they might have a White Album of a Western Conference finals left in them, and maybe even a surprisingly competitive Abby Road of an East/West finals. But their best work is going on right now, and it's too good to last. So enjoy it while it's here, and when it's over, you know who to blame.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Iced Down Medallions

Last night's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh puts the Flyers in tough spot: they now have to win four out of five games to advance to The Stanley Cup Finals, and will have to do so without their top defenseman, Kimmo Timonen, and possibly the next best blue-liner on the team, Braydon Coburn. With the season hanging by a thread, I'll take this opportunity, while they still have life, to put out a short and sweet hockey guide to all loyal readers who don't know and don't give a flying French Canadian fuck about the brutal ballet on ice. Why should you give hockey a chance? I'll try to explain.

What You Should Know:

The Concept
The object is to put the puck in the other teams net. Simple enough. It's on ice, the players carry sticks, rock sharp blades on their feet, and wear more gear than football players. This is because hockey is a unique combination of skill and strength; essentially a hockey player possesses the speed, hand-eye coordination, and explosion of a basketball player, and attempts to utilize these skills while colliding into the competition with the violent fury of a football player. The game is played at such a high speed and taxing physical pace that players play in brief, forty-five second(give or take) shifts before taking a rest, making for a constant shuffle of players on and off the ice.

The Rules

Many casual fans claim ignorance at the myriad of confusing rules and stoppages of play that can distract a virgin fan. My advice to anyone who has no idea what icing, off-sides, or a line-change is, is to simply watch a friggin game. Hockey has fewer rules than football, less strategy and tactical minutiae than baseball, and when it is played well, a better pace than basketball. What you don't understand should not bother you; simply assume when the game stops it stops for a good reason and ask a friend what happened; if your friend is equally perplexed then try listening to the explanation given by the announcers. If the announcers are predictably useless it is then ok to give up and watch a sport you understand, such as American Idol.

The League
The National Hockey League is way too big and exists in too many crappy cities that never demanded a hockey team and thus treat it like a spare bedroom in a huge house, ignoring it except during the holidays when they stuff it with relatives and luggage. When Philadelphia was granted a team in 1967, there were only six teams in the entire league, now there are close to thirty. The only teams in the league anyone should know and care about are these: The Flyers, Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vancouver Canucks. I included all the Canadian teams just because.

What You Should Like

I love hockey fights. Everyone should. I love the build-up to a fight, the actual fight, the crowd frenzy that accompanies a fight, and in general the entire code of law that enables a fight. Because hockey is so physical and hockey players so tough, it is assumed, correctly, and understood, largely, that these dudes need to occasionally try to beat the shit out of each other. It fits into the structure of the game nicely due to each team having a pugilist specialist or two, who's main job is to take on the other teams pugilist specialist when there is a dispute that needs to be settled. In basketball guys will talk shit and get technical fouls. In football there will be comedic entanglements featuring facemask grabbing and helmet punching. Baseball has some great brawls but they are too brief and chaotic to follow properly.
In hockey one guy taps another with his stick, they drop their gloves, square off, and give you an actual fight to watch. It's great.

The Players
The players in the league are mostly Canadian and European, with a solid amount of America-born dudes as well. Apparently every small boy in every desolate and snow-crusted fishing hamlet throughout Canada and Eastern Europe was strapped into skates and pushed onto a frozen lake as soon as their delicate baby skin could handle -15 degree air. The result is a league comprised of hardworking and honest guys with great names and tougher than leather M.O's. Even the highly skilled offensive players who never fight and rarely throw bodychecks are tougher than just about anybody in the NBA. If I had to put my life savings on either Wayne Gretzky or Lebron James in a fight to the death, better believe my money's on The Great One cuz. They are rugged, they are boring, they all have fake teeth and crooked noses. I want my daughter to marry a hockey player.

The Playoff Beard
During the playoffs just about everyone grows a beard. I find this beyond great.

The Stanley Cup(the actual hardware)
The championship trophy, The Stanley Cup, is a huge thing that can hold a lot of beer. The team that wins it drinks a lot of beer from inside the Cup, then gets to keep it for the entire year, each player getting it for a day, presumably to drink more and more beer from it. I, again, find this beyond great.

The Game Itself

Hockey, especially in the playoffs, is fast, exciting, and physical. There is an ebb and flow to the game that few games can equal; opportunity for one team can instantly turn into a chance for the other team. Did I mention they fight?

What To Ignore

The Canadian Accent
It can be distracting and annoying, and flavors many a boring player and coach interview. Accept it and move on.

Following The Puck

That little bugger is small and moves fast. Often you will have no idea where it is or who has it. This is part of watching hockey, so get used to it and don't complain about it. If anything worthy happens you will know.

Hard To Pronounce Names
The NHL has some of the best names in all of sports, and quite a few nobody can say. Ignore the ones you can't say and enjoy the ones that are incredible, like Rod Brind'Amour, Roman Hamrlik, and Cristobal Huet.

Everything Else

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sincerely Yours

Instead of explaining away my absence and asking for forgiveness- making promises I intend to keep but just as likely intend to ignore at my convenience in the process- I will simply get on with getting on.

The DR is a living breathing animal, a fat furry creature with unspecified numbers of arms, legs, and tails. Sometimes we hibernate for months in a dark cave. Sometimes we graze the wide plains, with no particular focus, and lazily affirm our jungle cred with a subtle yet swift riposte. And every so often we go on creative outbursts akin to an Alpha male lion who beats down a young lion challenger, eats a lunch of fresh cheetah caught and prepared by four female lions, then naps in the sun after sexing the hell out of all four said females. The point is, you never know when we might get hungry, so stay tuned in to channel DR.

Now that I've confused myself and my metaphors, let's get on to some letters I've been meaning to send.

Dear Ryan Howard,

I am a big fan of yours, have been since you were a mysterious phenomenon at various levels of minor league ball. When you got to the Bigs, finally, in 2005, and won Rookie of The Year, I was smitten. The next year you turned in a season for the ages, won the NL MVP, and crushed dingers and the Phillies records book with equal panache. You were suddenly a household name, a one-man event at the plate, reason enough to buy a ticket and watch the Phils play. You even went to Japan in the winter of 2006 and left thousands of small Japanese men and women with no doubt as to who the true baseball Godzirra was.

Last year you got fatter and took a couple months to start hitting, but when you did the results were similar: lots of home runs, lots of RBI's, lots and lots of strikeouts. This was acceptable, if not admirable considering your slow start and early injuries. I figured this year you'd be healthy, slimmer, and determined to avoid the embarrassing specter of setting the league record for K's again. Well Ryan, I'm a little worried about you. Are you becoming a Black Adam Dunn? Should I, a fan, lower my expectations for you and only expect massive home runs spliced infrequently between copious amounts of whiffs? No more singles, doubles, hard-earned walks, or even sac flies? Will there ever be a day when you come to bat and I don't assume a quick yet painful punch-out?

Listen, I'm sticking with you as long as I can. If Pat Burrell has taught us anything, and, in all fairness, The Bat he has taught us way more than one thing, it's that in baseball it's possible to suddenly forget how to play the game well. And not remember for years. So I will remain hopeful for now. But I beg of you to stop striking out, for the fans of Philadelphia, the millions of dorks whose fantasy teams you are hurting, and most of all, for the loyal people of Japan, who await the glorious return of Godzirra.
Sincerely Yours,
Chief Naka

Dear Kobe Bryant,

Time and age have dimmed my white-hot dislike of you only slightly, and news of you winning this years NBA MVP churned the bile in my stomach. I wanted to let you know that I'm not now and never have been fooled by your faux persona, the disingenuous smile, the transparency that drips like melting wax off your every public action, the desperate neediness that accompanies your fist pumps and dunk celebrations. Hating on your skills would only damage my credibility, and I give credit where credit is due. You are a great basketball player. Maybe you deserve the MVP too, though I'd argue that your team has the most talent and depth in the league, and thus would still be very competitive without you. This isn't about that. This is about you. I know who you are. And I don't like you. And I hope you lose.

Good Day Sir!,

Dear Friends,

I know this is a bit late. About twenty years late. And my timing will lead many to ask, "is Chief Naka a frontrunner?", which is laughable and altogether dismissible in my mind, so on to the point. I love the Flyers and thoroughly enjoy hockey, yet don't have any friends who share this interest. Can you all do me a favor and watch some playoff hockey, learn to appreciate how dope the sport is, how badass the players are, and come to a place of acceptance so that next year, when the Flyers are in the playoffs I don't have to scurry around the city, alone, looking for a place to watch? Plus, I know to a man you all can appreciate a good playoff beard.
Sincerely Yours,


Dear Wawa,

First you close on 20th and Locust. Body blow, ouch. Then you close at 20th and Chesnut. Sucker punch to the testicles, searing pain. Then you raise your coffee prices. Personally I don't care about that but for most of the adult world that's the equivalent of a body blow, a sucker punch to the testicles, and a bird crapping in your eye. I don't get it, I have never been inside a Wawa that had less than fifteen people in it, and yet stores are closing? Is there somebody embezzling millions of dollars from the company? It doesn't make sense. Do me a favor Wawa and stop closing your stores, it makes it harder for me to find surcharge free ATM's, take out money, and waste it in bars and pizza joints.

Sincerely Yours,

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Long Cold Winter of Our Discontent

And so the seasons, they go round and round, and the painted sides of Sammy D’s oddly groomed head go up and down, and yet again we’re left staring the face of a long cold offseason wondering what might have been.

In all reality, the Sixers exceeded expectations by leaps and bounds. Scarcely one calendar year into our Iverson-induced "rebuilding" and already the playoffs. Nice work all ‘round says I.

And yet, there remains much work undone.

There are some who would prefer to call winning two games against Detroit a measure of triumph. Despite my desire and inclination to be a member of that jaunty crowd of optimists, I think this series has illuminated the stark reality not only of how far the Sixers have come, but of how far they still have to go. Another year of seasoning on Louwill, on Thad Smooth, on J. Suave and even on he who still lacks nickname will certainly improve our squad. But if the last two games have taught us anything, it is that it will take more than seasoning to compete with the Detroits and Bostons of the world.

The Sixies aren’t "there" yet. But we’re somewhere, to be sure.

Somewhere where athleticism is king; where turnovers grow on trees and fast break points gallop amidst the greenery like so many bunny rabbits; where a rainbow arches across the sky at the bottom of which is not a pot of gold but a golden pot of salary cap space, guarded by an avuncular bald leprechaun; where youth and optimism bloom like daisies in the springtime and even the most cynical of fans can sit back and appreciate the beauty in the madness Coach Mo hath wrought.

Wherever we are, I imagine it looks a lot like Candyland.

I’ll leave it for another day to try and determine what the Sixies should do in the offseason. There are plenty of dull days ahead in which to discuss the relative merits of Elton Brand and Josh Smith, to drool over the tremendous upside potential of young black dudes with one year of college experience and incredibly ludicrous first names.

For now, I want to leave everyone with these prophetic words, penned nearly a year ago to the day by my brother in arms Chief Naka:

What ended quietly and most effortlessly (for the other team, in this case Toronto) a few days ago was yet another season in which our lovable and gullible 76ers failed to bring us home any bacon from the store. Instead they showed up with fetid tofu and a bag of magic beans.

Will we yell at them for settling for the magic beans? Yes, we will scream expletives and cover them with flem and foamy spittle. Will we scoff at the beans and flash exasperated looks of contempt in their direction every chance we get? Absolutely, no opportunity to mutter outraged sour grapes in modulated tones will be wasted. Will we, the editorial staff at the Dalembert Report, see this tofu and bean combination as a waste of our time and effort, our devotion and pride? Will we simply throw the tofu in the trash and flush the magic beans down the toilet, thus freeing ourselves from any potential harm and heartache they will almost definitely bring? I wish the answer was yes. Sadly, it is no. We will season and then eat the tofu, we will plant and water the beans, all the while cursing our efforts as if we were acting against our own will in some way; a couple of gamblers forever stuck in a casino to whom we owe no money but where every card game is dealt by Shawn Bradley, every roulette wheel spun by Glenn Robinson, every slot overseen by Brad Greenberg. Of course we will plant the beans, and coo at them, and leave the radio on for them when we leave the house. After all, whoever sold them to us said they were magic. They might grow.

Magic beans indeed.

Sometimes the rap game reminds me of the crack (baby) game

Long time no talk folks. My absence from the DR has been a lengthy, and largely inexcusable one, and while I can't expect your forgiveness, I can present an offering of peace. Posting videos of Sammy D at his finest has been a mainstay of the DR, but with our beloved Sixers now officially scheduling tee times and closing out Palmers nightly with no fear of feigned retribution from Mo, I wouldn't want to dredge up any more depression from the dejected souls who were double-crossed into believing that we would still be engaged in playoff basketball. However, that will not stop me from introducing the loyal DR following to another man who is a master of his field. Sammy D dominates the hardwood almost as much as this man dominates a freestyle cipher. Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of DR non-reader PSK, I give you Eli Porter:

Let's go.