Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Living In The Sports Guy's World

On Sunday, (me with my buddies from BAFS streetball team) we're hitting a sport bar named Michigan for some Eurobasket drink. Before the match (it's European so you just have to call it match) of Spain vs. Russia, we're talking about everything (you're right, the main topic was ladies) and then George said this following sentence:

*Call me crazy, but what's Sports Guy doing right now? Holy crap, how is it to go through any Simmons experience?*

I'm an avid reader of Bill Simmons' columns and everything, actually I love his glossary. (Note: I'm looking forward to October 3, when ESPN Classic will air Bulls at Knicks 1996 game, for those who don't know yet, Bill was asked by ESPNC to pick old-school games for them. Interestingly, this is one of my first live-watched NBA games since there hadn't been much ways to watch live before 1996 for foreigner like me. Then as an NBA fan I knew players and teams, but to find some NBA stuff in TV here in my homeland was like to try finding a non-communist in Ukraine. I watched it with my Dad and his friend.

Here's the conversation before the game:

Dad to Friend: *Have you ever watched basketball game?*
Friend: *Come on, I don't even know the sport. What's going on in this sport? It's a no contact sport, right?*
Dad: *Yea, any contact is forbidden. You can't touch a player. It's a foul. At least here in our country it's played like that. You just shoot the basketball and whichever team scores the most points, wins.*
Young Me: *Dad, are you sure? I heard it's a different game in the United States.*
Dad: *Please, it's a lovely game, they cannot kill each other.*
(Just seconds into the game, Friend said something I can't believe even now: *Hey, is there Carl Lewis playing or what?*)

It was Game 3 between the invincible 72-win Bulls and the physical Knicks troops. We enjoyed it a lot, but after the second quarter ended, we're shocked. There were tons of hard fouls/flagrants and intimidation actions. Knicks were crazily aggressive, led by Charles Oakley and his menacing demeanor. Bulls acted with unbelievable intenstity, too, just watch Jordan-Pippen-Rodman defend... lemme tell you, this was a superb game featuring overtime and MSG going nuts after the final buzzer. I remember seeing Rodman's face after the game and thinking, *well, where has he got that knife?* One of the most memorable games ever for me.) And when I came home 4PM that night, I realized... damn, this was it! We lived Sports Guy's World for one night!

Here's why: After that George's philosophizing, we watched Raptor Jose Calderon scoring 17 points to lift Espana past Russian Federation 81-69. Russians led by the end of the first qtr, when Victor Khryapa (he's one of that queer NBA foreign players - you know he's in NBA, but you actually don't know where he plays... Chicago? Washington?) converted three consecutive three-point attempts to help to a 23-20 lead, but Grizzly JC Navarro responded with eight of his 15 in the second period to spark a 10-0 run and put Spain ahead 40-35 by halftime. Calderon had Spain's first seven points to start the second half and with help from Raptor Jorge Garbajosa - who finished with 11, the Spanish hiked their lead to 66-51 early in the fourth quarter and the game was done. AK47 led RUS with 21 points. Let's go unearth some Simmons experiences:

A) Our self-promoted bookie-expert Pieter experienced 'The Four Beer Analogy'. He had four beers
during the first 30 minutes of play but couldn't throw down more because totally started cheering for JR Holden. He simply forgot to drink his fifth one and was bugged after the game thanks to Russia's loss. In his disgruntled state, he refused to drink again and thus he hadn't a good time all night. Well, that four beers killed him. Wasn't sober enough to drive home. Wasn't quite drunk enough to be really loose. Was more groggy than anything. And he had drunk just enough that he had trouble getting up for work on Monday morning. I hope his boss didn't fire him.

B) Add Valdes to 'The "I can't believe you haven't seen that yet!" movie' category. There's a theory that every person has one "I can't believe you haven't seen that yet!" movie. We found out that Valdes hasn't seen 'Blue Chips'. Impossible, you say? That's damn right. I'm telling you. And the more people tell him, *I can't believe you haven't seen that one yet!* or *Do yourself a favor and see it, would ya?*, his defiance becomes even more resolute. Is he stubborn or involved in any friendly bet?

C) Our buddy Coco (he got that nick from one Italian) was 'The Over-Clapper' on Sunday. We almost threw him out of the building 'cos he was awfully bombed. Shouting. Yelling. Shrieking. Clapping. Whatever. Indeed, is there anything worse than an Over-Clapper, the guy in a sports bar who feels the inexplicable need to applaud after every play?

More from BS's suitcase, at least briefly:
.The Inconsiderate Chain-Smoker -- Coco on Sunday
.The Guy Who Keeps Taking Cell Phone Calls -- Enrico always
.The Over-Excited Guy -- Coco on Sunday
."Guy Who Gives Running Commentary and Thinks He's a Commentator" Guy -- George always
.The Drunken Idiot -- Coco on Sunday
."Guy Who Won't Sit Down and Watch the Game But Keeps Popping In Every Five Minutes To Ask About the Score" Guy -- The Waiter on Sunday

Not easy to watch a thrilling game with those guys around... and in Michigan bar.

D) The (Pretty) Waitress was 'Pulling a Jackie' every 15 minutes. Girls have this uncanny knack for showing up in front of your view and starting up conversations during pivotal moments in any sporting event and almost always with disastrous consequences. Big moments down the stretch of quarters and she's asking: *Have you ordered your beers yet?*, *What will you have, boys?*, *Any drinks, Marco?*. The problem was that Marco tried to flirt with her all night long. Oh, waiter, the bill, please!

Some thoughts that were running across my mind when I tried to fall asleep on Monday early morning:
...Carmelo Anthony said he enjoys FIBA basketball more than NBA basketball... let's hope he doesn't play for CSKA Moscow next season... who's the worst player in da NBA... BS Report with Steve Kerr was very good... JR Holden is a Russian-American, I'm puzzled that this is possible... what the fuck, Tex Winter isn't in the HOF, shame on them voters... I need water... Trail Blazers are practicing... Oden has health-issues again... I need water... I need to catch some Z's... I can't wait to see how Memphis Grizzlies will fare in the Southwest Division with SA, DAL, HOU, NO... Conley-Navarro-Miller-Gasol-Milicic... zzzzz...

p.s.: serbia was eliminated with 3 consecutive losses, leading the serbian coach to tell reporters in belgrade that he was planning to make good on his pretournament promise to move to iceland if serbia failed to qualify for the olympics. (-chris sheridan)
p.s.2: darko milicic's rant against fiba referees was so vicious, we will no longer be accepting nominations for this year's version of the tim duncan 'i hate fiba' award. in fact, we'll go so far as to say darko's rant will set the standard for ref-bashing for decades to come. yes, it was that bad. (-chris sheridan)
p.s.3: sarunas 'fiba-master' jasikevicius on his golden state situation: *i'm really waiting for them to trade me. it's been going on since february and nothing's happening. i really don't understand this franchise, to be honest with you. i know what kind of offers they got for me, and they're not taking them. i know they're not planning on using me, so i really don't understand what they're trying to do with me. in that league, absolutely nothing depends on me, so i'm sitting by the phone and waiting. as far as i know, there's really not much going on now. but from what ii hear from my agent, golden state had a lot of interesting offers. whether they want to add another piece or add another expiring contract like mine with another piece, i've had my hopes up 10-12 times of getting out of there, and nothing happened.*

Posted by Foreigner in CS - Sep 12 2007 1:59PM

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