Thursday, May 03, 2007

Even though the Red Sox managed to come back against the Mariners tonight and win the single most impressive game a team has ever played in their 27th contest of a 162 game season, today was still a good day in Sedition in Red Sox Nation world. Tom Brady was seen walking through NYC sporting a jaunty Yankee cap. Bob Halloran wrote an uninspired post for his blog, and there was a mind-numbingly dull piece in Red Sox Times on how to socialize with other Sox fans down in New York. And best of all, Steven Jackson and the Golden State Warriors routed the mighty Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs.

First, Red Sox Nation is in moral crisis because their football hero Tom Brady is wearing a Yankee cap to conceal his receding hairline while he's out gallivanting his Brazilian supermodel companion. And he's spending his time in New York City when he could be in Boston cheering on the Sox. Maybe he could have been seen in green Sox regalia, after all, isn't it his duty to make sure that he spend every waking moment figuring out new ways to do everything New England fans want him to do?

That's just one more reason to love Red Sox fans. This is a huge non-story. After all, Brady came from California and went to school in Michigan. His ties to anything remotely connected to Red Sox Nation didn't even begin until the Pats drafted him. So why is it incumbent upon him not to wear a Yankees hat?

If Brady does in fact, as I fear, harbor political aspirations for his future after football, doesn't it make sense for him to curry favor in New York? It's a bigger, richer market than New England. And he already has Patriot fans in his corner. Hell, he'd have to start breaking in to season ticket holders' houses at night to smash their possessions and kick their children to alienate them.

Then there is our old friend Bob Halloran, who is not convinced that the NFL pays enough attention to on-field performance in the rush to draft workout warriors who put up impressive numbers at the combine. The vertical leap in particular concerns Halloran. I'm sure it never occurred to him, but the vertical leap is one of the better ways to measure a player's explosiveness from a standing start.

And as for the question of whether the teams don't watch enough game film, that is ridiculous. In the process of media build-up, individual workouts and interview sessions, teams seem like they do more and study more than they should as opposed to less. It's hard sometimes to tell everything you need to know about a player from the game tape. There is a very fine line between the player with a great head for the game and a guy who was in the right place at the right time against inferior competition.

If you are a Red Sox fan and you want to network with other colossal tools, there are a number of places in New York City in the heart of Yankee Country where you can meet fellow travellers. Read this Fist Magnet's Guide To Rooting For The Sox In New York to find out where to go. Use extreme caution, however, and do not operate a motor vehicle or heavy machinery after reading it. The boredom it inflicts could be lethal in large doses.

I particularly enjoyed the story of the author's meeting with Jonathan Papelbon's mother. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that encounter which I'm sure must have been painfully awkward. Not having a child who pitches for a professional team, I can't say for certain how uncomfortable it would be to meet a random stranger who just happens to root for said team and wants to have a nice chat about my son. But I'm willing to be that it would call to mind visions of Ted Bundy, or at the very least the Robert DeNiro character from the terrible movie The Fan.

And in case you're wondering in Red Sox Nation, there is a touch of grey to the silver lining of tonight's impressive come-from-behind win over the Mariners. First, the Mariners starter should have been pitching to Artie Lange in Beer League. And Matsuzaka walked the bases loaded in the opening frame before he recorded an out. Yeah, JC Romero recorded his first save in a long, long, long time, but lost in all of that is that Jonathan Papelbon might have overstressed his arm throwing those thirty five pitches while blowing the save the other night. That won't be good for the Nation.

Finally, the real story of the night is that the NBA, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commission and the Rand Corporation can rest easy for another year. Mark Cuban and his Dallas Mavericks have just been eliminated from the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors. For the first time under the current playoff format and just the third time ever, an eight seed has eliminated the one seed. It's only the second time a team which had won 65 games in the regular season failed to win the championship, and the first time a team with many wins didn't reach the conference finals.

Google and YouTube are in the process of retreating to the hills. Since the NBA has eviscerated the lone voice of reason on basketball issues by fining Cuban hundreds of thousands of dollars for his crying out in the basketball wilderness in blogMaverick, the Benefactor can but vent his spleen on media conglomerates. With any luck, Cuban will be too depressed to buy the Chicago Cubs in the wake of this catastrophe.

Dirk Nowitzki's performance, especially in the second half, was abysmal at best. I remember a quote attributed to Napoleon that said "scratch a Russian and you will wound a Tartar." Nowitzki has inspired me to offer this version: "hit a German in the mouth and you will make a gutless bully cry." I'm sure Angela Merkel will give Dirk a national holiday to console him, as rolling over in a playoff game is still the most tangible achievement of any German since a ghost in the machine ruthlessly shanghaied a four week old child into the German army.

Even better, Don Nelson led his team past the owner who fired him. Steven Jackson who did his best to take the mantle of worst citizen in the NBA (based on the way the media covers him) or guy who really needs some help with his decision making off the court from Ron Artest as long as Jackson stayed in Indiana is now somewhat vindicated. At the end of the day, Dallas was outplayed and outcoached, they were beaten as an organization. And it put a smile on my face, if it's any consolation to the Benefactor.

All I have to say on the Western Conference playoffs as they progress is this...

Be looking good Warriors. Be looking real good.

And good luck with that, as Baron Davis reminds us that a guy really shouldn't have a beard that's longer than the hair on his head.

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