On A More Pleasant Subject

June16/ 2014

  This is a deep cleansing breath column.   One that does not beat a certain “not dead yet” horse of infamous unpleasantness.   Fear not you fans of great unpleasantries, we shall return to our favorite dumpster fire, but not today.

Mid June is either a marvelous buffet of sports viewing…. or a plethora of yawnful banality.   It’s not exactly a “tweener season” but neither is it “must see TV” unless it is to you.   We’ve got The CWS in Omaha, The World Cup in Rio, The Stanley Cup Finals, The US Open in Pinehurst (The Village of …..) and The NBA Finals.

I enjoyed the heck out of The NBA Finals.   I have a difficult time believing I would ever say that.  Go Spurs!

The US Open at #2 at The Village of …… might have set “watching golf” back to the days of gutta percha balls.   Before last Thursday only 2% of the guys in your civic club, water cooler, or barbershop had ever heard of Martin Kaymer.… maybe.   50% of those 2% think he is a middle reliever for The Padres.

Its not Martin Kaymer’s fault or the USGA’s fault or Tiger Wood’s surgeon’s fault or Donald Ross’ fault.  It just happened and it turned in to the most uncompelling major sports TV event maybe ever.   Runaway victories can do that especially when the leaderboard looks like a roster of the top fifteen Walgreen pharmacists in Des Moines.

If any event needed a streaker and/or a lightning strike and/or a sinkhole to sink…. it was that one.    Now we have the Korean Women’s Open coming into The Village.   Stilettos, Daisy Dukes and wet t-shirts won’t help that.

Soccer is a terrific HDTV event.   All the elements of the sport lend itself ideally to modern television broadcast technology.  That said, I am finding having the picture on and muting the sound so I can listen to my audiobook de jour, is like having a video of an aquarium on my 36” flatscreen.

I spent a short week in Rio thirty years ago.  Never got more than three blocks inland from Ipanema Beach except for a tour bus jaunt to that Jesus statue on top of the mountain.   It was an enjoyable “see another country” experience and the only World Cup host city I’ve ever visited other than Los Angeles.   If I ever went back I would take a side trip into the countryside.

I’m not a soccer-hater nor am I a hockey-hater or a UFC-hater.   I simply have no compelling interest in watching any of those.  But if you do and the entire population of all sorts of Trivial Pursuits countries do; then I think that’s fine.  Your / their fanatical love of the sport is admirable.   I do not lump soccer-lovers in the same “how can you do that” sack with devotees of Women’s Basketball.   That’s a totally different column.

I like the word Cameroon because it sounds like Maccaroon and I like them…. especially cocoanut ones.   The really great players all have just one name except the ones who still have two.   Is there a committee that decides that?

Jimmy Johnson won another NASCAR race.   Jimmy Johnson might be THE BEST NASCAR driver ever that no one would recognize if he sat down next to them and said “Hi, I’m Jimmy”.  I’m not even sure a cowboy hat with a feather or a supermodel wife would help.

The trite line about watching an NBA game has always been “just tune-in for the last five minutes”.   Apply that to a NASCAR race and its “just tune-in 30 seconds before a big crash”.

OK, so much for BobLee The Sports Cynic…..

STOP:  What about The Stanley Cup?   Are they still playing that?  If not, who won?  I miss Derek Sanderson and the Esposito brothers.   I did see Wayne Gretzky’s skanky daughter on the US Open telecast.   She’s engaged to one of the Walgreen pharmacists.   I wish them lots of happiness.

Go Spurs!   I told you 3-4 weeks ago that I was enjoying the NBA Playoffs.   I continued to do so and watched pretty much all of last night’s Finals final game.  Yes, I wondered, in the first five minutes if the Spurs would be shut-out.  They weren’t.

We lived in San Antonio for a short time back in The Ice Man’s day.   We liked the city.  I like everything about The Spurs.   They are an anomaly in pro sports.   Considered a “small market team” in a sport associated with the big, dirty, mean arrogant urban combat zones and, more recently with South Beach.

Recall I adopted the KC Royals in the late 70s.   Very similar to the Spurs except the Spurs have managed to sustain their competitiveness longer than George Brett’s Royals could…. but the similarities hold up.

Neither Kansas City nor San Antonio are famous Big Cities overflowing with above-the fold celebrities.   Tony Parker’s short-lived marriage to Eva Longoria was very out-of-character for the city.   Both cities enjoy mutual love affairs with their teams…. not like St Louis does, of course, but St Louis is REALLY SPECIAL.   There, that oughta piss-off the Cardinal-haters.

I’m sure there are nitwit board monkeys that will always HATE Tim Duncan because he played at Wake Forest.   As there are knuckleheads hating Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers regardless of their achievements and public personas.   I am thankful every day that I don’t have to come into contact with “those types of people”.   Aren’t you….. assuming you don’t have to either?

Anyone who hates Tim Duncan would probably hate Martin Kaymer because he’s German…. if they knew who Martin Kaymer was and that he is German.

Lebron James made one glaring mistake in his career.   He did that clownish “My Big Decision” stunt that was the sports superstar equivalent of Geraldo opening Al Capone’s vault….. or The Edsel.   Otherwise he is simply an incredible basketball player who has matured in his handling of the media and has accepted all the perks and media unfairness that come with being a mega-star.

Whether Lebron is “better than Michael Jordan” or Richard Petty or Jim Brown or Rod Laver or Jack Nicklaus never enters my mind.   That such idiot delights consume some minds means less time for those minds to consider breeding or running for public office.

The Spurs are a refreshingly “nice story” about pro sports.   By tomorrow all the accolades about how gosh-darn cool that franchise is will be over and done with.   By Wednesday the national focus will be back on free agents, money and which players got arrested for what.   Sigh…. sob…. sniff.

But last night was pretty cool.

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