thinking back on the many basketball games I have watched. I imagine I have probably seen over a thousand games, mostly, I will admit, watching the Timberwolves. My favorite has always been the game I took Mike to. It was against the then-powerhouse Sacramento Kings. It went down to the wire, and the Target Center was crazy with noise. We won on a late KG shot, with time running out, after coming back from a fourth quarter deficit. I thought it was the best thing I had seen.
Tonight, thought, I might have witnessed the best basketball in recent memory. I grew up watching Michael Jordan. I watched the double nickle, the IV game, the shot against Utah. I honestly saw all those golden moments in sports history. As I write this, I feel the excitement of knowing I had seen something that will forever be talked about. And I think I saw that again tonight.
Lebron James has been blasted for his decision to pass in game one. He was villified for his decision to shoot through double coverage in game two. Now he will be talked about as the hero of game five. He scored 48 points on 18 of 32 shots, including 29 of the Cavaliers' final 30 points. He made the game winner, driving through the lane and getting bodied, with 2.2 left on the clock. Is scored 28 points in the fourth and overtime. He WILLED the team to a win. Down two, behind the back dribble, pullup to the right, bucket. Down three, fallaway three, swish. Tie game and he drives in for the win. He was everywhere at once tonight, playing over 50 minutes of gametime.
But tomorrow, in spite of, or maybe because of, all that, SOMEONE will try to tear him down. Someone will write that he was a ball hog, or that he took ill advised shots to make the game close. Someone will bring up games one and two. Already, someone wrote an article about hos he was rude to a laundry guy on the team, and how he didn't know the names of all the attendants on Team NBA. They will find anything they can to bring him back down to earth.
Because he is approaching a legend. He is coming nearer and nearer MJ status. He is coming up big in big games. He is winning despite an ordinary team. He might just take the Cavs to the finals in the same amount of time it took Michael.
And we can't have another MJ.
So forget the heroics. Forget how, after the game when Greg Sager all but baited him into praising himself, he deferred to his teammates. Forget that he had to be helped off the court.
The first was a fluke. The second was false modesty. That last bit was melodramatics. He's a good talent, and a great player, sure. He has even made some big time shots down the stretch. Hell, he's surrounded by the cast aways of sub-par teams. But when it's all said and done, he lacks that wink and smile, that direct elusiveness, that media savvy that MJ had.
And the game is coming way too easy for him. He was never cut from his highschool squad. Hever had to prove himself in college. Never had to win on a big stage.
So we can like him. We can even root for him. But in the end, we need him to come just short. He needs to pas up the big shot, so we can debate whether an assist to win is as good as a shot to win. He needs to foul out of the big game, so we can say his team carried him. He needs to rest the forth quarter, so we can say his opponent wasn't good enough.
But he can't win like tonight. He can't take over a game, drive to the hoop at the end, and rise above everyone on and off the court. He can't be superhuman.
I just made a big long post about my week training for the triathlon, and another equally long, and therefore impressive post about my weekend. But I don't want to type it all out again, so I am going to cheat my reader(s) and give you the brief summary.
I am doing interval training now to try and change my cadence. On the advice of a long distance running coach, I went (broke into) the college outdoor track and timed my half miles. My mile time is around 7:20 right now, so I timed my half miles at 3:20. That would, for you English majors out there, come out to a 6:40 mile, well below my average. The idea is I will change my bodies natural rhythm, and when I go back to block running I will be faster. So far, it worked, as I ran anywhere from a 3:15 to a 3:25 half mile, with quarter mile "rests" in between. I am going to continue that the rest of this week, then run another three mile block and see how my time is.
Swimming still vexes me, as I can swim an 11:30 600m one day, then follow it up with a 12:40 the next. I can tell what I am doing right and wrong, but still have little to no control over my body whilst doing it. Hopefully, more repetition will help. I will try some intervals in swimming and biking this week, too.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Spike, Libby, Josh, Heather, and Bishop all came to visit this weekend. We spent a night playing yard games, bonfiring (it's a word), and drinking a bit too much. Josh even played an instant guitar classic for us around the fire. It was a great night. It is nice to have my own house, and yard, and be able to share that with my friends.
The next day we went geocaching for the first time this year. For those of you who don't remember, geocaching is like treasure hunting, with a GPS. Someone you don't know hides a cache and with clues and coordinates you find it. You then log that you found it, take something from the cache, and leave something else. It is a lot of fun and a great way to get everyone outside and active.
Here are some pictures from our adventure:
This one is me, apparently explaining where I think the first cache is. You can see the GPS in my hands and the vacant looks on the faces of my fellow cachers. I might not know where I am going.
But, we got there, eventually, and we started searching. AS it turns out, geocaching pictures are a lot like climbing pictures: a lot of butt shots.
Here, we found the small, cleverly hidden cache. I made a funny face, which ruined Carly's picture. She took another, better one, but it was not in the real moment, so it is a fake.
This one was easier to find. All signs pointed to the Indian. Once again a group of white people steal his shit.
It was a great day that we capped off at Green Mill. We would have eaten at an authentic Italian joint, but it turns out Bemidji is becoming more and more protestant, as local businesses are now closing Sundays. Soon we will only be able to eat at fast food or the bar. Good plan, Christians!
You know, this really was a great weekend. Thanks to Spike, Libby, Josh, Heather, my amazing wife (who cooked all weekend for everyone, and never once uttered a complaint, even though we probably never thanked her for it), and my dog Boscoe (who didn't cook at all, and whined a lot).
Monday, May 07, 2007
ANOTHER TRIATHLON POST
So another week is in the books, and it has shown me some promising things.
First, and formost, I am still training. That is huge, considering the number of things I have taken on and not followed through with. I will save you the "Biodome" style list, but suffice to say it is not short.
Running is actually becoming my strong suit. I shaved about a minute off my total time this week. That, after last week's gains, is putting me in contention for atop five run split. Running three miles is actually becoming quite easy, even in the up to 35mph winds we had this week. For the next few weeks, I am going to increase my distance by .5 each run, and see where I plateau. I should gain stamina, and I will even guess when I go back down to 3 miles I will have picked up some more time.
Biking is steady, once again. I have been playing with seat position in an attempt to break my natural cadence. I think, since I have biked so damned much, I am stuck at one speed. I would like to add 1mph to that speed, and it is proving more difficult than I had first anticipated.
Swimming is still a chore, but I feel progress. My time has only gone down a few scant seconds. But my energy afterwards is better. Today I swam after doing a bike/run brick, and I was still fine. I might have had a breakthrough on form, using my hands a bit better to pull me (because my legs were so tired). I will know more Wednesday. I am still waiting for the lake to become warm enough to swim, as I am not sure the pool is helping my swim stamina any (every 25 meters I am touching a wall, however briefly, and turning around).
I like the IDEA of being a triathlete. It has given my mornings (since I get up so early and my wife leaves for work far before I do) some meaning and direction, and it is keeping me focused. I am looking forward to August 18th.
I want to see how far I can push myself before then.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
So I saw a couple other people do this, and I was curious. Here it is. This is my persona, according to a movie I have never heard about.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
Hey, I will be the first to tell you that MySpace is just a cesspool of underaged hormones writhing around in an attempt to practice unsafe dating rituals and roleplay adulthood in mixed settings *I don't know what I just said, so don't ask.
But I have endeavored to use it only to keep in contact with people I otherwise would have lost. I have been in touch with people from the camp I taught at, people from highschool, and even my first crush! Wow.
It should still not come as a shock when I see someone, in this case someone I know, using myspace simply to hook up, or worse. But it did leave a bad taste in my mouth, so I thought I would just share it.
This was posted on a bulletin:
"100 dates- rules Body: I'm wanting to go on 100 dates and write a book on it.
If you want to be apart of my personal project - then let me know.
WE WORK OUT A DAY, TIME AND PLACE- I MEET YOU THERE.
NO- NO IN HOUSE DATES- OR NO COMING TO MY PLACE TO COOK FOR ME DATES
MORE RULES TO COME.... ___________________________________________________
be creative and take me out for some fun. I also will be bloggin my dates for all to read.
It's gonna be open and honest- I won't use your real name- unless u give me permission...
IF you have asked me out before and I turned you down- heres your chance to take me out.
As of right now this week... My only free day is Sunday.
Next week- Monday, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday night.
Besides doing this for a book, I'm screening for a husband.. Yup- Jadyn wants a baby sister...lol.
Okay only half serious about that last one.
Thank you - all u fabulous freaks... (I mean that with sincerity)
If you want to set me up on a blind date with someone you know-- lets do it. I don't discriminate either.
Thank you again."
And, taken alone, you could actually think this was sincere. But the book has already been done. And then a movie was made about some guy who did the same thing. And a hundred people, like this, have already blogged about doing it. And she posted about it four times in the span of 24 hours.
But that's not what really gets me. I am sure a thousand people post blogs just like this one, daily. No, what gets me is the long series of this person, again who I actually know and grew up with, using the internet to whore herself out.
Sound a little harsh?
In the past month she has asked for flowers sent to her office (by anyone) Someone to go buy her cigarettes Someone to fix her car Someone to buy her groceries Someone to advance her money Someone to help pay rent
And it bugs me so much because I hoped she was better than that. I really did. She is close to one of my very close friends, and even though we haven't gotten along well at times, I still wanted to think of her in a better light.