Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hot Routes

It’s with great pleasure and excitement that I come to you this morning from the new crib. It’s been a long process, but I think Hans and I are finally settled in. All the new furniture is in place, and yes, we finally have cable. All this, of course, happened yesterday morning, which is why I threw up an air ball the day after the crowing of D. Wade and the Heat. As I’m sure you know, it KILLED me not to be able slurp Wade and Shaq and take shots at Stern, Cuban, and Kobe. But, we’ll see if we can’t make up for it today. Let’s play a little catch up by throwing some hot routes.

The Finals

I would be lying if I told you that after Game 2 I thought the Heat had a chance in Hell of winning this series, much less winning four in a row. I wish I could offer some poignant insights into how it happened, but I just can’t. Put all the officiating aside, put all the conspiracy theories aside, and put all the second guessing aside. At the end of the day, I think it’s pretty obvious why the Heat prevailed: You take a Hall of Fame coach, one of the all time great players that has accepted his decreased role, a group of role players that not only embrace their roles but step up at big moments, and one of the best players alive playing at his absolutely apex, then you throw it all together and chances are you are going to win a race to 4 wins. In other words, it all just came together for the Heat at the absolute perfect time.

Game 6 was actually a microcosm of the entire series. Dallas made run after run, and you kept thinking the Mavs were on the brink of blowing things open, but Miami answered every time. The Heat just kept taking punches, and just kept charging back. Eventually, they were able to land the last blow. It was almost like the end of Rocky II when Rocky and Apollo were both on the canvas, and Rocky was barely able to get to his feet to beat the count. And much like Rocky II, this wasn’t necessarily a great series, but it sure as hell was fun to watch. And yes, I do think somebody should probably go check on Kobe and make sure all the sharp objects and shoe laces have been removed from his house! And yes, I do think David Stern probably sat back, smoked a cigar, let out a big sigh of relief, and slept very well last night. And yes, I do think that there is a strong likelihood that Mark Cuban may have Stern murdered at some point in the near future. How could you not love this game?


Despite the fact that our cable installer was quite possibly the laziest and most worthless human being I have ever met, we FINALLY have cable at the new crib. Seriously, the last four days without cable and internet have been four of the hardest days of my life. Okay, so that might be overstating it, but I think you get the point. At any rate, with the cable all hooked up, Hans and I settled in last night and FINALLY watched this week’s episode of “Entourage.” (Thank God for Comcast “On Demand”. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest inventions since Much to my delight, episode 2 quickly atoned for the rather lackluster season premier. It had all the essentials: 1) hot women (sure, they were playing high school girls, but there is no way those girls were only 18…no way!); 2) Great comedy from Drama (I can’t even begin to describe how funny his belly flop into the pool was, not to mention the wrestling match); 3) Some quintessential Ari moments (Where do you even begin? The therapy session? The smashing of Lloyd’s artifact? His promise to abuse the headboard? All classics); and 4) some serious irresponsible spending (4 Roethlisberger style bikes? Are you kidding me? And, giving away the car to the two dorks set a whole new bar for fiscal irresponsibility. Simply tremendous).

When all was said and done, this was easily one of the Top 5 episodes in the history of the show. For me, it was right up there with the trip to Sundance, the bat mitzvah, the Sherpa (tremendous cameo by Val Kilmer), and the Comic Convention/U2 concert (phenomenal cameos by Dwight from “The Office” and Jesse Jane from…well…). When it comes down to it, I usually judge “Entourage” episodes based on how depressed they make me feel about my own life. I mean, don’t get me wrong, waking up every day doing legal research, writing briefs and memos, and reviewing documents is awesome, but it just doesn’t seem quite as cool as Turtle’s life, much less Vince’s! Well, this episode left me feeling pretty damn depressed, so it was definitely high quality.

One more thing about “Entourage” before moving on. Am I the only one that thinks somebody missed out on a tremendous opportunity by not actually making the movie “Aquaman”? I mean, if they had actually made this movie starring Adrian Grenier and Mandy Moore and released it this week, after this episode, is there ANY chance it wouldn’t have been the biggest movie in history? I mean, this seems so obvious to me that it actually infuriates me that it didn’t happen. Is it possible that I’m really that much smarter than the people in Hollywood? Actually, don’t answer that.

USA vs. Ghana

I’ve been very honest throughout this World Cup by telling you that I don’t know the first thing about soccer. I mean, I played a little when I was younger, and I know the rules, but I couldn’t tell you the names of more than ten professional soccer players. But, the greatest thing about the World Cup is that it doesn’t matter if you know anything about soccer, or if you aren’t a soccer fan for the three years and eleven months between World Cups. When the action starts, it’s nothing short of electrifying. You have hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world descending on one country, and they are living and dying with every change of possession. It really is amazing. The crowds are unbelievable, and the tension of every game reminds me of the tension of playoff baseball. Just like every pitch is huge in postseason baseball, every possession is potentially enormous in the World Cup. Whether you consider yourself a soccer fan or not, if you are a sports fan, you can’t help but be sucked in by the World Cup. And, of course, ESPN’s relentless coverage makes it kind of hard to escape even if you wanted to.

All that being said, even though I’m not a soccer fan, I’m really fired up for Team USA’s showdown with Ghana. This is huge. I wish I could articulate it better, but I just can’t. This is a huge moment for U.S. Soccer, and since soccer is the biggest game in the world, it’s a huge moment for the U.S. It’s huge for you, me, and all Americans. Like it or not, soccer matters. Granted, it only matters once every four years, but it matters nonetheless. If we beat Ghana, and Italy beats the Czech Republic, the Stars and Stripes will fly all over Germany. And if history has taught us anything, that is never a bad thing!