THE NBA HOPES TO UP RATINGS BY LOWERING STANDARDS

“It’s the same ol’, same ol’ situation”
-Motley Crue, “Same ol’ Situation”

Merry Christmas!  I don’t care about the political correctness of the matter; saying, “Happy Holidays,” is lame.  You’re allowed to believe in whatever you believe in, but don’t force the issue of adaptation if you’re not willing to adapt as well.  Others are allowed to celebrate their traditions and their heritage just as much as you are without making a complete change in their lifestyle in order to make you feel warm inside.  Just drink some eggnog.

Now let’s move on to a forced Christmas sporting tradition: a day full of boring NBA games.  While spending Christmas in Connecticut, I was overexposed to coverage and articles related to the Nets and Knicks.  Lucky me.

The NBA has become a full-on Broadway production in recent years: drama queens, one king, egos that rival Shakespearean villains such as Richard II and Iago; players whining when they don’t get their way, flailing their arms, yelling and screaming, and almost breaking down into tears as if tragedy has struck the kingdom.

It’s not a game anymore; they even have costumes and musical renditions now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYEHUOpwNvE. The link is good.

That was a wonderful promotion, but what direction is the NBA heading in?  Dressing up and appearance is obviously more important than execution.  The players of old like Stockton, Malone, and Hornacek whose short shorts (a little risqué for Utah) and wonderful pick n’ rolls have become a thing of the past and have been replaced with individuals dribbling for 20 seconds and then a step-back jumper while sporting shorts down to their shins, tattoos around their neck, wraps for injuries they may or may not have, and sweat bands for players that may or may not be sweating.

Why do you think the old men on the Spurs play so well?  It’s not Bridgestone commercials or cheating on hot actresses; it’s coaching, comradery, and execution.  The argument of freakish athleticism is valid when Bryant and Jordan had their dynasties, but victories would have been less without the triangle offense bestowed by Phil Jackson, the role players of Horry, Fisher, Pippen, and Kerr (amongst many others), and the overall dominance from doing things correctly.

Of course, King James has started his own dynasty without proper team execution.  It’s a different league now, a different style of basketball; people want to be like Mike, but don’t play defense and aren’t big enough or work hard enough.  Lebron is playing against the kids he used to portray; sure it will take a year or two for them to be superstars, but the team invests so much money in them that they can’t afford harmonizing role players.  It’s star on star instead of team on team now (that sounds inappropriate).

This is why the NBA has focused their efforts on becoming more and more entertaining in order to bring fans to the stadiums with a die-hard marketing plan: skimpier cheerleader outfits (sweet), smoke and flames shooting towards the ceiling during player introductions, acrobatics by the athletes and half-time jesters, shoe commercials that are short films, dark buildings to give it that “rap-concert feel”, and media-infused drama because even they have trouble talking about the basketball portion of a basketball game.

The script is familiar; the same plot, the same outcome, and even the same lines like, “I want to first thank God”, “we played a great team”, “we had to keep fighting”, and blah blah blah.  As entertaining as they make the league, it’s still predictable and boring until the 4th quarter of a playoff game.  Below are the Christmas day scores:

Chicago 95 Brooklyn 78
Oklahoma City 123 New York 94
Miami 101 LA Lakers 95
Houston 111 San Antonio 98
Golden State 105 LA Clippers 103

See (see what?); it’s boring and predictable (if you follow basketball).  Since the game has become much too-customary, I offer a cast to the Christmas production that will be performed at your local elementary school:

The Empire/King/Occupants of the Throne: The Kings (ha, ya right) Heat
The Villain/Antagonist/Invaders: Pacers
Past Royalty/Elders/Wise Men: Spurs
The Warriors/Inexperienced Militia: Celtics, Rockets, and Warriors (duh)
The Materialistic/Royal Women of the Kingdom: Lakers
The Jesters/The Entertainers: Clippers
The Great Hero from the West/Protagonist: Thunder
The Unexpected Hero: Trail Blazers
The Damsel in Distress: Pelicans (just because they changed their name to the “pelicans”)
The Wizard: Wizards (duh, and because they are capable of magically wasting a good opportunity)
The Fallen Hero: Bulls
Undeveloped Kingdoms battling in Far Away Region/Families in Turmoil: Knicks and Nets
Obstacles/Creatures: Hawks, Grizzlies, Wolves, Bobcats
The Peasants/Laborers/Kingdom/Choir:  Everyone else (I’m starting to lose my creativity)

It’s time stop the villain, kill the women (geez), save the princess, avenge the fallen, battle relentlessly, and dethrone the king reclaiming power in the name of good (basketball).

KNOCKOUT GAME BECOMING POPULAR HOLIDAY ACTIVITY FOR DEGENERATES

“To tell the truth I can’t remember that much/ Goddammit I was suckerpunced”
-Butch Walker & the Black Widows, “Suckerpunch”

The ‘knockout game’ is becoming another American pastime; a true example of where this nation stands as a country right now.  If readers are not familiar with this lame and cowardly competition, an individual is dared by their peers to bring an innocent pedestrian to the ground with one strike from behind.  The video is then uploaded via cell phone because not only are the assailants stupid, they really try to make sure they get caught.  I’m glad people are finally using technology for its correct and most-productive purposes.

Nothing exemplifies manliness like striking an elderly woman in the head from behind.  Of course that’s if that man is a terrified little boy who is too cowardly to approach a man or large butch woman face to face.  This is proven as they scurry away with their friends laughing and acknowledging the fact that everyone in the group is a gigantic loser that contributes nothing to society.

As expected by our seemingly bored national media, there have been claims that these attacks are hoaxes and myths aimed to shine a dim light on minorities once again (NY Post).  Blah, blah, blah.  Seriously, we don’t have to play the race card on everything, it can put back in the deck every once in a while; it doesn’t make you a racist to not blame something on racism.  The truth is that there’s video evidence of the assaults, yet the reports are trying to justify this conduct.  It’s partially due to the fact that the public can’t fathom the notion that this third-world behavior is happening in the United States.   No one should care about the race of the attacker (NY Post); they need to start worrying about the safety of the victim.

Below is exactly what should happen while an idiot is playing the game, and there should be no sympathy for him.

http://www.mrctv.org/videos/knockout-game-turns-attacker. The link is fine.

Uneducated and undisciplined cowards are roaming the streets, and now the general public is paranoid.  It’s not just about the attack now; people are going to be on the defense and carrying weapons to guard them against possible criminal activity (just like after Mr. Holmes’ portrayal as the Joker).  Skepticism and fear are horrible attributes to carry in public, and though there are more cheers than jeers for self-defense, it’s only a matter of time before an innocent person kills another innocent person because of misinterpretation stemmed from over-exposure by the media.  This country is turning into an anti-social realm hiding behind tough words protected by social networking and blogs (wait a minute, I blog, how rude).  According to all these self-proclaimed Good Samaritans, it’s much easier to blame something on someone rather than helping a person in dire need.

I don’t know what I would do in a “knockout game” situation if it happened in my proximity.  It’s easy for people to say what they will do, but acting out on their declaration is another thing.  This shouldn’t be an issue though because it’s not like we live in ancient Rome; there aren’t gladiators and barbarians fighting to the death for honor or to prove a point.  It’s not like we live in modern-day Brazil where it’s okay to split a referee into four pieces after a red card turned into a murder, then into a slaughter.

Jeepers, a solution!  Have the “knockout” all-stars go down to Brazil for the World Cup and try their little game on one of those crazy people, or an unexpected Croatian smoking a cigarette with a scar on his face for whatever reason, or some feisty Mexican who probably has a buddy about to suckerpunch the suckerpuncher, or a Spaniard who will avoid the assailant with stunning flamenco moves, or an Australian who will say, “dis isa nighfe,” and beat the hell out them, or a Brit who will also beat the hell out of them while correcting their grammar, or an Italian who will baffle them with a violent use of dialect, or a French person who may spit on them and call them a slur that sounds like a compliment, or an Iranian who (I don’t think we should touch that one), or a German who (well you know what happened the last time someone pissed off a German), or a Swiss person who may or may not take their side.  Pretty much all of the above applies for Russian people.

This is fun; the other 21 World Cup teams will have to be made fun of at a later time (here’s looking at you Greece and Korea, but you already do a well enough job on your own).

You can bring back the race card now if you don’t have a sense of humor.  Soccer is a real game; knockouts are an activity for cowards.  We have it pretty damn well here in comparison to places like Algeria, Bosnia, Cameroon, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Honduras, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and Uruguay (they are also in the World Cup if you weren’t picking up on that).  Can we please stop screwing it up for a little?

NY Post Editorial. (2013). The right response to the ‘knockout game’. Retrieved from       http://nypost.com/2013/12/09/the-right-response-to-the-knockout-game/ on December 11,                            2013

Rothman, N. (2013). Woman reportedly beats the heck out of ‘knockout game’ attacker. Retrieved from                              http://www.mediaite.com/online/woman-mercilessly-beats-knockout-game-attacker/ on                        December 11, 2013.

PASEO DEL NORTE: BROKE GROUND ON BROKEN SPIRITS

“There ain’t no easy way/no there ain’t no easy way out”
-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Ain’t no easy Way”

The four mile (or so) stretch from Jefferson to Coors in an agonizing drive for the average commuter, morning and evening.  The highway portion of the street is a dangerous cluster of gridlock to and from your “career” each weekday.  You see the same cars and the same stupid bumper stickers claiming political stances, humorous attempts to seem intimidating, or the amount of family members and pets one family must gloat about having.  You see the same dented cars and the same ugly faces that drive them, putting on makeup, talking on their cell phone, drinking coffee and eating most likely a burrito (we’re in New Mexico, duh).  You experience the same bumps, potholes, same accident prone areas, and drive into the bright sun that always sneaks through the cracks left open by your visor.  East in the morning and West in the evening; it’s kind of like the old man who claims he used to walk uphill both ways to school in 10 feet of snow back in 1837 or whatever.

The current project to relieve the agony of the people of New Mexico’s twin cities (Albuquerque and Rio Rancho; we’ll get there, Minnesota, you’ll see) has begun.  It’s the construction that will save the souls of commuters and add years to the lives that have been losing time due to stress and rage.  The computer simulation posted on the project’s website looks fantastic if the population of Albuquerque drops significantly.  Please see below:

Paseo

I counted roughly 115 vehicles, not including the ones parked at the Marriott because they are obviously visitors and an attempt by the city to church up the numbers.  There are 154,000 vehicles passing through the interchange daily, and the 93 million dollar project that Westsiders desperately needed won’t be completed until the Fall of 2015 (NMDOT, 2013).  Oh, what a two years it will be.

However, there is no proof a large giant turn will be an adequate solution.  When drivers approach a bend they insist on slowing down to five miles per hour because they are under the impression that the bridge collapsed over the mighty Rio Grande heading westbound.  It’s probably the safest river to fall into if that were to happen considering the mud would serve as a cushy sponge and absorb the impact.  So beautiful.  Eastbound in the morning motorists pause because they assume the 2nd Street exit ceases to exist from a magical overnight change performed by Chupacabra or whatever.  Every slight veer from straight-forward causes a slam on the brakes.

Either way, construction happens; Jefferson has been poorly constructed since the renovation six years ago so let’s hope the same doesn’t happen with Paseo.  In those same six years, 2nd Street, one of the worst streets in town and the only other entrance to the six-lane highway, has yet to receive a total makeover and was rarely touched (how inappropriate); but why not do a little something at this exact time.

“Hey, I have a brilliant idea: since we are doing the interchange, we might as well slow down the other entrance and do some minor construction there, too.  You know, just to piss everyone off a little more so some blogger can make fun of us later on.  They already hate the fact it takes almost two minutes for the Jefferson light to change, 2nd Street needs to be equally frustrating.”
-Actual testimony from fake City Planner

That’s right; I timed the light at Jefferson (kind of), not the city planner, because I get bored in the small cab of Brutus (my truck).  To stop possible uprising as the sarcastic words above may suggest, the city may take a Hunger Games approach to the situation and put fear into the hearts of the public instead of hope.  The 12 participating districts (not actual districts) shall include: Journal Center, 2nd Street, Alameda, North Valley, Montano, Ventana Ranch, Taylor Ranch, Cabezon (I don’t volunteer as Tribute), Los Ranchos, Corrales, Loma Colorado, and the rest of Rio Rancho that doesn’t do the smart thing and take exit 242 home instead.  What’s the big deal?  People feel like they want to die sitting in traffic anyway and it will be an outlet for their aggression; plus, it will break up a little of the congestion (23 cars to be exact).  I’ll tell you what, to soften the deal, the winner gets a free bus pass.

I guess the bus pass is a more reasonable solution to begin with, but now you know what I think about in traffic.  The city is growing further and further away so more people are attempting to escape to get home where they eventually want to escape to go to work.  It’s a vicious circle, kind of like a giant interchange.  They can give us fear, but we still have hope (insert weird three-finger symbol Jennifer Lawrence gets people killed doing here).  They won’t break our spirits, so a majority of the population will just drink them to deal with the drive.  Oh, that vicious cycle.

There ain’t no (grammatically incorrect for song relevance) easy way out of the city.

NMDOT (2013). District 3 road construction projects. Retrieved from       http://www.dot.state.nm.us/en/ProjectsD3.html on December 4, 2013

Paseo (2013). Purpose and funding. Retrieved from        http://www.paseoi25.com/about_the_project.aspx on December 4, 2013

JOHNNY MANZIEL: LEADING VOTE-GETTER FOR THE NEXT GREAT DISSAPOINTMENT.

A new year (not yet, but you get it) and a new format.  I figure you know me by now and I believe I have complained long enough about the unnecessary personal worries of my life that prove to have no validity in relation to the bigger picture of society’s issues.  Therefore, in my attempt to save the world (geez, I have to do everything) I will graciously accept my role of a more satirical and consistent writer in order to divert the demons of anxiety and begin to love the world again through humorous dislike (that doesn’t make sense).  So be it!

My posts will be shorter and less vague; I will stop combining multiple affairs that only I know how to follow the transitions because for some reason I sound smart in my mind.  Also, a weekly post will benefit all of us, perhaps on a Monday (like this one, had it planned out already) to start your week off fresh instead of stuck in a state of grogginess until Tuesday afternoon.  I can’t think of anything clever to say now, so let’s get moving.

JOHNNY MANZIEL:  LEADING VOTE-GETTER FOR THE NEXT GREAT DISSAPOINTMENT.

“Yeah I want it/ I need it/ to make a million/Yeah I love it/ a fucking rock star.”
-The Union Underground, “Turn me on, ‘Mr. Deadman’”

The question of whether or not college football players should be compensated for their services on the field has been brought up this season, and why not, a majority of them already use the money they have (how do they have money when they don’t get paid?) to break the law, build enormous egos, fondle women inappropriately, and decorate their bodies enough to reach their ultimate goal of unemployment after not reaching the professional level.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, let fame find a place in his gigantic head (ego, not brain).  It’s there, but it could be lost amongst the stupid decisions, lack of common sense, and the identity crisis of being a Texas-bred quarterback or a Pisano from Brooklyn.  Players win the Heisman for a reason, and there is nothing to argue about the Texas A&M quarterback’s freshman campaign so kudos to the kid, but the honor doesn’t necessarily define his dollar worth, and neither does his signature.

It doesn’t automatically shape your future as an NFL quarterback, either.  For example: Tim Tebow, Troy Smith (go Buckeyes!), Matt Leinart, Jason White, Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerful, Charlie Ward (who played basketball instead), Gino Torretta, Ty Detmer, and Andre Ware.  There may be others, but to be fair I decided to only list the disappointing careers during my lifespan (mine doesn’t count; we’re not talking about me).

Why would someone pay for a signature from a player who is just a college student?  In retrospect, why would anyone pay a college athlete a salary?  No one is paying graduate students during their unpaid internships (duh).  No one is paying a pre-med student just to study through all hours of the night in order to achieve acceptance into medical school and the rigorous journey to follow.  No one is paying a philosophy major just to come to the realization that their degree sucks and eventually attend law school to avoid working at their college-town gas station the rest of their life selling booze and late-night snacks to already-stoned football players.

Quite frankly, football players on scholarship already get paid.  We will focus on Manziel’s soon to be alma mater as an example.  To attend Texas A&M it costs $38,701 a year between tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, travel, and personal expenses (TA&M, 2011).  According to the NCAA, all those costs are included in a full-ride football scholarship.  Already a college football player has a larger salary than I do, but don’t forget the access to trainers, medical professionals, and exercise equipment that a normal person pays hundreds of dollars a month for; not to mention free travel to towns no one wants to go, lodging, food, and the occasionally tutor if academics are important to them.  How awful for those kids.

Oh, then multiply that number by four.  If my math is correct (and it should be because I’m using a calculator), a college football player, such as Manziel, could potentially make $154,804 over the course of his career before the age of 22, and have no debt afterwards.  Around 37 million college students and graduates in the United States can’t say that (ASA, 2013).

Then the argument of Universities not providing enough money towards their football programs is raised.  Let’s bust out the trusty calculator again and do some college-level (elementary) math.  Each FBS school is awarded 85 scholarships during one season (Wood, 2013).  $38,701 x 85 = $3,289,585 a year towards those poorly treated football players and their ignored program.  Multiply that by four again, well, you get the point.  Of course ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise offer no support either; and don’t give me that shit about players receiving money for their identity on a jersey or bobbleheads or what not.  Most writers don’t get royalties, and that is a post-college career.

If you want to be paid to play then work hard enough to make it to the NFL.  You don’t see businesses paying college students (outside of internship requirements) before they hire them while they are still working towards their degree.  I get there is hard work and physical strain and the possibility of injury (you can get injured smoking weed and drinking at a party and getting into a fight or car accident by the way).  I’m an athlete as well and have been my whole life, but I don’t believe risk is an excuse considering most college football players are on the team voluntarily.  If money is important, go and get a job and build up some debt like the rest of us.  If football is important, play the game and shut up.

Keep moving those money fingers, Johnny; you’re not a rock star.  More dudes would rather hang out with the cheerleaders than you anyway; we might as well be paying them, but then again those dudes can just go pay a stripper and they didn’t dance in college, they dance to “pay for college”.

ASA. (2013). Student loan debt statistics. Retrieved from http://www.asa.org/policy/resources/stats/   on 11/27/13

Texas A&M. (2011). Cost of attendance. Retrieved from               https://financialaid.tamu.edu/Cost/COA_Undergrad.aspx on 11/27/13

Wood, R. (2013). Crunching the numbers: football scholarships. Retrieved from                                                                                http://www.active.com/football/articles/crunching-the-numbers-football-scholarships on         11/27/13