May 3, 2007

Thoughts Upon Successfully Getting Through Customs

  • As some of you may have known, this half of "us" has been in Israel for the past week or so. The Other Half (insert married couple joke here) performed ably despite a very busy schedule, as anyone who knows him should of course have expected. It's nice to be home.
  • While in the Holy Land, we couldn't help but hear about the tragic and untimely passing of Josh Hancock. In the shadow of the Virginia Tech shootings, it seems a bit crass to make a much bigger deal out of this tragedy over that just because we like the team he pitches for. Still, Josh was a Mississippi boy--we even have a mutual friend--and a member of the Cardinal family, and he will be sorely missed. The Birds' losing streak does not appear to be such a big issue in the wake of his passing.
  • We had the opportunity to visit the offices of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel's preeminent pro basketball powerhouse. They have a list of the years Maccabi has won the Israeli championship and the Euroleague championship on a big board in there. Since 1950--the first year of the Israeli league's existence--Maccabi has failed to win the championship of Israel only 6 times. When you get past the fact that it's really just a bunch of American guys who couldn't cut it in the NBA, it's pretty amazing.
  • The NBA playoffs have been very entertaining so far. For (over-) informed commentary, refer to frequent commenter Benji Orlansky.
  • And finally, a quick on-the-field thought on America's Game. Barry Bonds gets closer and closer to Hank Aaron's record each week, and our stomachs get more and more nauseated. Even if the steroids thing wasn't an issue--and it is--this is about the least likable baseball star since Ty Cobb. Athletes may not owe it to us to be nice guys; but we certainly don't owe it to them to cheer for them if they're jerks. Along those lines, the most interesting idea we've read on the topic was offered by Rumors and Rants. You can read the full piece here, but the most important point is that if/when Bonds breaks the HR record, baseball may find a new savior in...Alex Rodriguez. For the time being, however, we'll stick to anti-Bonds voodoo.

7 comments:

Scott said...

Good to have you back Abey-Baby!

Benjamin said...

Considering my "overly long posts", I'll keep it short and sweet. "Warioooooooors, come out and playeeayyyyyyyy!!!!"

WAO said...

No one said your posts are overly long; I merely implied that you know a whole, whole lot more about the NBA playoffs than most human beings.

The longer, the better when it comes to your posts.

JBRATER said...

I know this is an anti-NBA blog, but I feel obligated to inform everyone that we have two absolutely stellar second round series coming up, featuring the best 4 remaining teams in the playoffs: Spurs-Suns and Bulls-Pistons. I would request some respect for the awesomeness of this fact.

JMA said...

We'll be the first to admit that there have been some fantastic games and storylines in the first round so far. The Mavs-Warriors series was pretty awesome, Utah/Houston has been a great series, we always love seeing Kobe fail, etc. We're not an anti-NBA blog, it's just not as cool as football or college basketball.

Benjamin said...

I will gladly concede that the NBA most certainly is not as cool as football or college hoops. However, the NBA is MUCH cooler than college baseball. I know I wasn't raised to say such things, but it's just the truth. It's hard to watch a college baseball game knowing that all of the guys on the field weren't as good as their peers who got drafted out of high school. Today, I have to go get drunk on a boat with a bunch of sorority girls at 2:30, which is the same time as tipoff for the Spurs-Suns series. I'm going to fake sick, not because I have a particular affinity towards either team, but because I know that this series will feature the highest level of play of my favorite sport. This series could very well determine the future of the way that basketball is played. With the Warriors proving that a fast-break style offense can help a young team overcome severe mismatches against an older, better team, The Suns have a chance here to prove that the style can produce champions. I'm sorry, Jonathan, but the winner of this series WILL ultimately be wearing rings by the time the Finals are over. The Pistons will have a fun time taking advantage of their considerable veteran advantage over the Bulls and the Cavs (unless, of course Mr. Triple Double can figure out a way to win a series against a legit opponent without any semblance of a low-post presence), but a half-court jumper game won't hold up to the visceral pace of the Suns or the game control of the Spurs, the only team in the league that's smarter and more experienced than the Pistons.

Also, the Warriors will sadly lose to the Jazz, though Baron Davis will recieve a CONSIDERABLE offseason pay increase, which should help him fund his film company (Too Easy Entertainment). My man-crush on this guy is approaching the level of man-love I felt for Lebron last summer. I guess it's a beard thing...

JBRATER said...

The Suns and Spurs are probably better than Detroit, but I'm always suspicious of bold pronouncements to the effect of "the winner of this series will win the title." There are just too many unknowns. I mean, honestly, the Cardinals were what - the 9th best team in baseball? (Sorry, Abram etc, but it's true) But they've got the rings. The pistons, by the same token, probably weren't the "Best" team in 2004, but they took care of business in 5 games against shaq, kobe, karl and gary. Sound familiar? The Pistons could certainly lose to the Cavs, (or even the bulls- despite the absolute detroit domination in game 1) but they could definitely take down anyone in a 7 game series if they're flowing. That's why the playoffs are so fun.