Posts filed under 'sports'
During the unbelievably exciting first two rounds of the NBA playoffs, I was following our Golden State Warriors' great success with little blog items reporting on the outcome of each game.
Then I got kind of distracted getting my one-man show going. Well, that's my excuse, at least. So for those readers whose only interaction with the Bay Area sporting world is through this blog (a small group, I suspect), let me just mention that, after taking down the mighty Dallas Mavericks 4 games to 1, the Warriors fell to the oxymoronically named Utah Jazz by an identical margin.
But not before Baron Davis's mighty dunk, in game 3, over Jazz shot-blocker extraordinaire Andrei "AK-47" Kirilenko -- which you can watch here. (Note that Baron celebrates his feat by lifting up his jersey and showing the crowd his tummy -- which is something that I would consider doing after a strong performance, if only I could get my "core" a bit tighter.)
The tantalizing question burning up the fan blogs right now is whether the (reasonably named) Minnesota Timberwolves will trade their All-Star power forward Kevin Garnett to our Warriors -- which would make us (yeah, I know: "us"! -- but can't a levitationally challenged hoops fan use that term for "his" team?) instant contenders for a championship. Anyone out there who might be tight with KG (by all accounts, a great guy), could you put in a word? Thanks.
June 22nd, 2007
... but it was an exciting, hard-fought game. Looks to be a great series in the making. ...
May 8th, 2007
Yeah, yeah, their stunning 4-games-to-2 upset of the Dallas Mavericks was completed last Thursday -- but since that was the first of four days in a row in which I was doing improvs towards my upcoming show opening, I've fallen behind a bit in my reportage. (And not just about sports: I also failed to note Cinco de Mayo, John Ratzenberger's ejection from Dancing with the Stars, and even -- based on a banner I saw in front of the Cowell Theatre this weekend -- National Norwegian Day.)
Actually, I went straight from my improv at USF last Thursday to catch part of the game at Looney's Smokehouse BBQ in Berkeley (order the bread pudding -- you'll thank me), accompanied (and driven) by my friend Brian (a USF politics professor) and his friend and colleague Ron (philosophy). The second quarter was starting as we squeezed into a corner table. People throughout the restaurant/bar were going nuts, and the waitpersons were proving themselves acrobatically flexible enough to continually bend over while serving, lest they impede anyone's view. Brian and I, big hoops fans, were going nuts. Ron, who for some strange reason thinks there are things more important than sports, poked fun at our excitement. We glared at Ron -- which, I quickly gleaned, is what he enjoys. Philosophers!
The third quarter was one for the ages. The Warriors riffed and rocked their way to a rout over the formerly feared Mavs, swishing threes (Stephen Jackson) and going strong to the rim (Matt Barnes). Finally a timeout was called. Ron leaned over and started giving me incredibly perceptive notes on the improv I'd done earlier. As play resumed he was still going -- and I was torn: between my professional duty to improve my piece and my irrational commitment to the basketball team I've watched struggle for 13 years. Amazingly (to me), I chose to stay with Ron's feedback till he was finished. I just hope that when the great Artistic Director in the sky tots up all my plusses and minuses, he or she takes this sacrifice into account.
Tonight the Warriors play their first game of the second round -- against the charmingly oxymoronically named Utah Jazz (at Salt Lake City). Is Baron's hamstring back in fine fettle? (I'd loan him one of mine, but they're congenitally tighter than Dirk Nowitzky at crunch time.) Will Al Harrington and young Monte Ellis rebound from their subpar first-round play? And, as ever, will Citizen Adonal get a chance to show the world that this new American is a shot-blocker for the rest of the world to fear?
Those are some of the pressing questions. And my only excuse for having no answers is that I've been hanging around with philosophers, so I've been skewing kind of Socratic. ...
May 7th, 2007
... despite the intensely helpful vibes I was trying to send them in Dallas. It was a great game, though. The Warriors are now up 3-2 in the series and are coming back home. ...
I guess I have to acknowledge the obvious limitations of being a fan: we live through our teams, but they're the ones doing the playing, and when they lose there's nothing we can do about it except mourn.
In the summer of 2004 I was at the Oakland Coliseum when the A's lost the deciding fifth game to the Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs. (Is that what they call the postseason in baseball? I'm so immersed in hoops right now that I can't remember!) It was devastating. I remember getting on the BART train at the Coliseum station. We sat there a long time while the train filled up with inconsolable A's fans. Nobody said a word -- until finally someone announced, "Well, all I can say is, after this game, Bush better not win -- that would just be more than I can take."
Which got me to thinking: How much has politics become like a game to us? We can vote for who goes on our team, but then many of us (like me, too often) just sit around and hope that they'll play up to our expectations. That can be a tendency in representative democracy: a kind of passivity. I think that's why I've gotten interested in grassroots activism lately: You don't have to wait four years to get in the game. Sure, my hoops playing at the local playground is quite a few notches below the pros' -- but it leaves me invigorated, and perhaps with an added understanding of what the experts are sometimes able to accomplish.
If you're as tight as I am, though, it would probably be a good idea to stretch before any strenuous athletic or political activity. ...
May 2nd, 2007
As my wife and son and I were walking back home from BART last night, I was listening to the last few minutes of the game on our "emergency" radio (oops -- hope there's some juice left in those batteries!). What a game! What a finish!!
The eighth-seeded Warriors are now up 3 games to 1 over the top-seeded Mavs.
April 30th, 2007
Gotta blog quickly this morning, before running off to rehearsal. But being speedy is actually quite appropriate for tonight's show (at 7:30), as my guests -- swimmer Natalie Coughlin and extreme skiier Jonny Moseley -- are both Olympian gold-medalists. They have other things in common as well: both are local kids made good, both are proud graduates of Cal-Berkeley, and both somehow suppressed the urge to mock my obvious athletic inferiority (though I do have to say that my reflexes in bocce are unmatched).
April 30th, 2007
It was halftime by the time I got back from rehearsal last night -- and yet somehow, even in my absence, they had done really well in the first two quarters. With me now stationed by the radio, following the game fervently, the second half turned into a blowout.
The Warriors now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
In related news, gravity has reversed itself throughout the universe and Splenda no longer makes you have to go to the bathroom all the time. ...
April 28th, 2007
... because I wasn't listening to the game (I was at rehearsal). My bad!
April 26th, 2007
Yeah, it's only one game -- but holy moley!!
April 22nd, 2007
For the first time in 13 years, the Warriors are in the playoffs! As they prepare for their best-of-seven first-round series against the mighty Dallas Mavericks, subplots abound: Will Warriors coach Don Nelson, edged out a few years ago by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (and still engaged in a yucky salary dispute with same), wreak his revenge? Will the recent regular-season mastery of the heretofore lowly Warriors over the Mavs extend into this series? And, perhaps most important, will Warriors center Adonal Foyle -- former guest on this show, new U.S. citizen, and just a really great guy -- finally win his way into Nellie's rotation?
We'll begin to find out the answers to these pressing questions at tomorrow's 6:30 p.m. tipoff in Dallas. And as always, the obsessive Warriors blog Golden State of Mind will be covering all the angles. Hey, I'm verklempt!
April 21st, 2007