The NBA playoffs started last week. I figured there was no big hurry to tell you about it since the Phoenix Suns only played their second game in the opening series yesterday and they won't play their third game until Sunday! If the series goes all five games, it'll take them two weeks to complete it.
Like all basketball fans who see the bleakness of baseball as the only alternative over the summer, I'm happy that the NBA drags things out a bit. But this is ridiculous. Just a few years ago, the NBA playoffs took us into June. Now they're bringing us out of June.
While I never took Journalism 101 or anything like that (don't say it!), I do know enough to look for a local angle on a story. And I'm not talking about Sean Elliott. I've discovered that the reason the playoffs are taking so long is that they were planned out by whoever it is in the City Traffic Department who's responsible for that two-day-tops construction job at Prince and Stone that's now heading into its fifth week.
BEING AN OPEN-MINDED GUY, I thought I'd check out the inaugural telecast of a Women's United Soccer Association game last weekend. Unlike a lot of the pigs who do sports talk shows, I generally like women's sports. I coach girls' basketball. I love the UA women's softball and volleyball teams. I watch a lot of women's figure skating, tennis, basketball and gymnastics on TV.
This, however, was soccer, probably my least favorite sport in the world. In fact, most of the aforementioned talk-show oinkers were positively apoplectic over the chance to dog out the WUSA. I mean, here we had the heretofore-unplumbed confluence of soccer and professional women's sports.
But I thought I'd give it a chance. I sat down on the couch, turned on the TV, and what is the first image that came on the screen? A bald-headed woman, standing at midfield, her hands on her hips and the sun glistening off the top of her head.
Ain't nobody wants to see Sinead O'Connor playing soccer!!
For that matter, nobody wants to see Sinead O'Connor doing anything except apologizing.
Actually, at first I thought it was Persis Khambatta. But then I remembered that she died a couple years ago, which, of course, spared her the humiliation of being on that soccer field.
I read that a significant part of the success the WNBA has enjoyed is that nearly two-thirds of its TV audience and fan base is male. And the league does a great job of promoting its stars. (The new commercial involving Lisa Leslie swatting away a fellow diner's donut is an instant classic.)
The WUSA isn't going to be around long if we keep seeing bald-headed women. I know it's the 21st century and all, but we're just not ready for that. Plus, they have Brazilian women who, like their male countrymen, go by one name. Hey, it's only soccer, so you have absolutely no reason to be pretentious.
If this thing goes on like this, it'll make the XFL look respectable by comparison.
REMEMBER: BILL WALTON will be doing some of the NBA announcing. You've been warned.
UH-OH, I'M GOING TO disagree with Lute Olson for the second time in three weeks. This can't be healthy.
At his press conference last week, Lute said that he didn't blame his departing players at all and even chided people who disagreed with that sentiment. His argument went like this (I'll use my kid in his example):
If your (daughter) is majoring in (chemical engineering) and after a couple of years, some big firm comes along and offers her six or seven figures to be a chemical engineer, I'll bet every one of you out there would encourage her to leave school and take the money.
Well, Coach, I wouldn't. I would hope that I had raised my daughter well enough for her to recognize where she is in her life and to determine what's most important at that moment and for the rest of her life. I would expect her to appreciate the value of a college education and I would do whatever I could to reinforce that perception.
I would also hope that she'd realize that if they were offering that money now, think how much they'll offer in a couple of years when she's smarter, stronger, more experienced and mature, and a college graduate. And perhaps most of all, if she and her lab partners had come within one experiment of winning the Chemical Engineers' National Championship, I'd expect all of them to have the fire to come back and win it all the next year.
DESPITE ALL THE HOOPLA this season about the Lakers, 76ers, Bucks and Kings, the San Antonio Spurs (with Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr) are generally considered the favorites to win their second NBA title in three years.
I don't want to openly root for them because the teams I pull for never win. My kiss does more damage that that of a drunken herpes girl at a frat party.
FINALLY, A REPORT IN USA Today says that state legislatures all over the country are refusing to pass laws against cell-phone use by drivers. Denying that the cell phone industry lobby has them by their microscopic genitals, lawmakers instead claim that "there's no hard data" on the issue.
Exactly how many people have to die before you do something? Is there a bare minimum or do we have to have total carnage? Next time you're in a car, put down the phone and open your damn eyes. It's a war zone out there.
And since when do you have to wait for study after study before you act? The problem is obvious. Why not get out in front of the issue? That's called L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P.