The emotion of the moment makes this a special time
One of the greatest things about sports playoffs – and it has to speak to the media overkill of having to come up with a narrative that could run for the better part of a fortnight – is the daily drama.
Team loses game, angst ensues, hand-wringing commences, questions abound.
Team wins game, optimism runs rampant, fans rejoice, the looking ahead runs amok.
And then another game is played and another result provokes exactly the same response only with the roles reversed.
It’s been fascinating, in that regard, to see what’s unfolding in the NBA’s Eastern Conference second round.
Miami looks dead in the water after Game 3 against Indy, Dwyane Wade is warring with Erik Spoelstra, Roy Hibbert looks like Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James can’t do it all himself and there are questions about what moves have to be made in the off-season.
The Pacers become even more the darlings, Danny Granger’s shot selection isn’t an issue any more, George Hill looks like an all-star and the Indy-Philly Eastern final should be odd, no?
Oh, then they play Game 4, James and Wade go berserk, the inexperienced Pacers can’t put the game away early and now it’d be hard to find someone who doesn’t think Miami is favoured to win what’s become a best-of-three series.
Celtics go down and Paul Pierce’s knee is an issue, their relative lack of athleticism is an issue and maybe their last best shot is going to firing blanks.
The Sixers are quick, they gang-defend, they make shots and their depth is under-rated.
Oh, then they play Game 3 and 4, the Celtics take back home court with a wonderful effort and it looks like their last gasp will be a deep one until the Sixers make some shots and make some plays and turn it into a best-of-three where it’s anyone’s guess who might win.
Sports – especially playoff series because of the intensity of the game, the scrutiny they’re played under and the stakes -- truly are a wonderful thing for the emotion they evoke and the ride they give us.
Those fans with a vested rooting interest see their lives run the gamut from joy and optimism to despair and angst and those of us looking on from the outside can relish in the to-and-fro of a close series.
It’s what makes the games at this time of year so special and I love it.
So they get 41,000 at the ballyard on a glorious Sunday afternoon, TOD goes hard but falls short, it looks like a tremendous holiday Monday ahead and what better way to capitalize on a day off for most of the fan base than to …
Be playing in dreary Tampa on a Monday evening.
Look, I understand the vagaries of scheduling professional sports with facility availability, travel requirements and an unbalanced schedule that’s like a jigsaw puzzle that’s difficult to put together.
But I also know teams need to make forceful cases to take care of their own interests and that league’s need to take heed because good crowds in one city boost interest – and revenue – and everyone is better off.
It’s just a shame that the Blue Jays don’t play at home every Victoria Day (and go on the road for Memorial Day); they should be home every Canada Day (giving up the fourth of July); and there should be an afternoon game each Simcoe Day (letting them travel on whatever August holiday the Americans celebrate).
It’s a no-brainer, and should always been that way.
Oh, no, there was no way on Earth I was ever a fan of the Bee Gees. Mocked ‘em like you wouldn’t know.
Yeah, dude could sing a bit I guess.
RIP Robin Gibb and we seem to doing this an awful lot of late, no?
And was that the most saccharine group of that era? Kind of made my ears bleed every time I heard them and I cannot think of another group that had the same effect.
Here’s one for you that came to me while I was watching that Heat-Pacers game Sunday afternoon.
You know how we’re often seeing comments or getting questions that say, in some form: “How bad at the HOTH, they might not have a guy who could start on a playoff team, how bad does that make them look?”
Well, I give you this:
Once again proving a point that says teams are all about individuals fitting together and guys taking opportunities and making the most of them, don’t you think Gray would automatically be the starting centre on the Heat, and we know Gray has some limitations to his game.
Even with Chris Bosh healthy, that team is too small and too offensively challenged in the middle to win the championship, I think.
And I should have brought up Gray’s name the dozens of times I got that query last season.
Those kinds of questions – and that one in particular – are impossible to answer because it’s always a matter of circumstance and playing style and opportunity.
Remember that if you’re planning to carve a roster because it doesn’t look as good as the next one; sometimes we don’t look past the simple fact it takes all kinds of guys to fit in where they have to fit in for a team to be successful and just because it doesn’t appear that the individual skill level is good enough, there are always other factors at work.
What’s your list of summer holidays for fun, importance and general goodness?
Mine goes like this, top to bottom:
Perhaps for the overall significance, perhaps because it never changes dates, perhaps because it’s a nice break in an otherwise long stretch of summer doldrums.
It’s the first of the year, it always falls right around Birth Week, it signals the coming summer and if it’s weather like we’ve had, it’s a glorious three-day stretch of deck-patio-perchance golf and total laziness.
Sure, it’s kind of the end of things and it means having to pack away all the white pants (see, I can get fashion in anywhere) but maybe that’s a good thing, a final shot to have some fun and remember what a good summer it was.
Well, it’s a long weekend in early August and that’s never a bad thing, right?
Yours look like that?