10.29.2006 : 10:18 AM :
arnold and i. yesterday, a basketball legend passed away. i'm not sure how many basketball fans nowadays understand who red auerbach is. to them, he may be a face, a name, a hazy vision of basketball's past. little do they realize that without red auerbach, there would be no nba as we know it today. he led the celtics to sixteen championships -- mainly as a head coach, and later as a general manager -- creating the definitive dynasty in basketball. he regularly produced hall of famers from his roster and the style of play he championed forty-years ago influences the league even today.
i've been a huge celtics fan ever since i was into basketball; despite never really being old enough to enjoy the celtics during their heyday -- i was eight when they last won an nba championship. but i've read all celtic related books, researched their history, watched any video i could get my hands on, and grown up with all of the celtics' legends. and almost all of those stories involve red auerbach.
in 1963, he utilized the first all african-american starting lineup in the nba. he was responsible for creating, and glamorizing, the sixth man position. he traded for the defensive minded bill russell -- the cornerstone of eleven world championships. he drafted larry bird, a year before bird declared himself eligible for the nba. red turned a number one overall pick into kevin mchale and robert parrish. two hall of famers from one pick...
red had an incomparable eye for talent and was able to outmaneuver entire organizations with his acumen and foresight. the only reason the celtics dynasty didn't continue in the post-bird era was the untimely deaths of len bias and reggie lewis. and, of course, when the celtics missed out on tim duncan in 1997 -- even though they, statistically, should have won the first pick that year -- that near miss doomed them to mediocrity. duncan as a celtic pivotman would have been perfect. but bad luck wasn't red's fault. he was a seer and a sage for the entire celtics organization.
i guess it's fitting that red passes on now, right before the celtics debut their new dance team. they are the last nba team to have cheerleaders/dancers and now red will get a chance to turn over in his grave when the "celtics' girls" trot out onto the fabled parquet. the celtics -- and red -- are, were, about tradition and class. half naked cheerleaders probably didn't fit into that equation. but times they are a changing. red was sometimes deemed too anachronistic for the "rah-rah" nba by his critics, but while he may have resisted change, he was by no means a dinosaur. he just had a clear vision of how things were and how they should be.
auerbach was truly the wizard of oz, but unlike that fictional creation, he wasn't a humbug or a charlatan; red was always the real thing. he was personally responsible for the mystique that enshrouded the celtics and his trademark move of lighting up a victory cigar near the end of games symbolized the celtics' winning ways.
the celtics were red auerbach, and red was the celtics, so his death seems like the death of the celtics as the die-hard fans know them. to be quite honest, the celtics had been on life support for quite some time already but this is the last reality check. red's dead and with him goes the old-school celtics.
: 9:46 AM :
in additional basketball news, here's the blog for our new fantasy basketball league. if you're so inclined. i do understand that watching someone else play fantasy sports is about as much fun as watching your kid brother play in a little league game, but hey... we also utilized google spreadsheets to keep track of current picks and to share mid-draft analysis. google, how can you not love them?
10.24.2006 : 11:07 PM :
how now blue cow. my moo cards are here! i was super late to the moo party but once i found out what they were i just had to get my very own. they are mini-business cards printed on nice card stock featuring designs/pictures culled from your flickr collection. you can make one of each, two of each, a hundred of each, whatever. it's $19.99 for a hundred moo cards and i highly recommend them. they are teenie tiny and dare i say it, just cute as all hell. i've been anxiously awaiting mine for about a week now and they finally came today. the packaging is really eye-catching too.
some of the pictures i selected don't work too well in such a small format (plus the resolution on many of my pictures suck), but the ones that did work out are amazing looking. i was hoping to use these as part of my book's business cards, but they may be too small. these are really the perfect gifts or little items to give to friends, to exchange like collector's items, etc. actually, they're so cool i really can't bear to part with even one. that's why i'm gonna need a second set to give out.
some people don't understand why these are so cool. well, if you can't see the coolness here (and the company name is just brilliant), then i probably can't help you.
10.23.2006 : 3:13 PM :
the science of sleep. if you had to choose between never getting sick and requiring only the minimum amount of sleep, which would it be? i think i'm pretty much immune to most kinds of sickness but i require an unusual amount of sleep, or maybe i've become acclimated to an unusual amount. either way, i sleep a lot. which is a bit of a problem since i now start work at seven in the morning monday through wednesday. and i can't be late.
i have friends who can operate functionally and fully after only four hours of sleep a night. it's an ability i wish i had; especially when i'm finally beginning to realize that time is precious and a three hour nap can quickly translate into a wasted day. on the other hand, being sick all the time -- even if it's allergies or the common cold -- is not fun either. due to me hardly ever getting sick, whenever i do, i immediately reach for relief. i bitch, moan, and complain about even the simplest illnesses and need drugs to make me feel better right away. so really, i'm resistant to disease but in exchange, i'm lazy and a big sissy.
10.20.2006 : 3:14 PM :
"we lifted off at 6:45 pm after a 30 minute delay, backdropped by a lazy sunset and the mechanical rumble of jet engines screaming into sky. my sister is sleeping beside me, her head on my bony shoulder and i can feel my left scapula digging into her cheek but she looks comfortable enough, there's a lot of good that comes out of the closeness of family, someone to travel with, a fair if somewhat temperamental companion. none of this has sunk in yet and i wonder if this trip is too little, too late. we both could have used an earlier salvation, the slow drive to madness by ill-fitting day jobs had worn our patience thin and suddenly the years yet to pass loomed ahead, dark and massive. sickle shaped. so in the end the idea was formed. bags were packed, dates blocked off. and here we are, taking a good look at our lives from 35,000 feet high, en route to another country, maybe two. no, it hasn't sunk in yet, but we're not alone. there's much more than just passengers riding on this plane: hope, fear, everyone has their reasons. you can tell by the baggage they're carrying."
10.16.2006 : 9:44 PM :
karma's a bitch. if bitching about your friends and associates behind closed (or open) doors is not the greatest thing to do, then what is? some people say that gossip and slander is bad but as i've proven before, gossip is the bind that ties. and to be quite honest, there's no healthy way to rid yourself of misgivings, misconceptions, and mis-hates than to bring it all out on the table and discuss. everyone brings a different perspective to the world and when one perspective doesn't jive, it's totally legit to start the roast session and bring all facts and mis-facts to light and smear the individual as a group. hate hate hate.
i mean, isn't that why we watch reality shows? so we can see what they did, then see what the other they's had to say, and then go judge for ourselves who was in the right and who was in the wrong? nothing is more compelling than watching other people trash talk and then creating your own derived trash talk.
one of my greatest dreams would be to throw twenty or so friends together in a mtv-style battle of the [blanks] and see what happens. sure this might ruin friendships and create super conflict but quite honestly, friendships are ruined and conflicts are created anyway, why not re-live the moments via a reality show?
if i had the money i would start a company to document the lives of clients and then edit it all together for an unobjective, highly dramatized view of their lives to share with friends. a custom reality show created just about you -- who wouldn't be interested in this product?
and if i were ever to really decide that my life would be okay devoid of friends, i would create a no holds barred gossip column. isn't that what we esentially do anyway when we get together? just trade information on varoius classified levels? why not just have one central source for this type of thing? i volunteer myself to be the collector and disseminator of this information. i'll even do it for free.
10.10.2006 : 12:33 AM :
(on not visiting his mother enough)
10.09.2006 : 5:00 PM :
i used to love h.i.m. i used to love fantasy football. i was one of the first kids i knew who played fantasy sports. my mondays were often spent in the school library perusing the box scores from the night before. that's right, i played fantasy sports before the internet. shocking, i know. i even took the stats of every team in the league by hand. and then i compiled reports for each week. pen and paper baby.
but now, now i've been outfoxed and over-flummoxed by this new era of fantasy sports. i feel like doyle brunson or johnny chan. i know i'm the best fantasy sports guy in my area -- logically and knowledgeably speaking.but somehow people who'd been doing this for just a year or two are kicking my ass. fantasy football has gone the way of texas hold'em poker: any joker can -- and will -- win. it's disgusting.
i like games that have, at most, a smidgen bit of luck involved. chess and go are games of tactics and pure skill. it's hard to "luck" your way into consistently winning at chess. a game with perfect information on both sides and no random element is a great game indeed. that's why chess remains my favorite game.
on the other hand, it's exciting to play games like poker, blackjack, and fantasy football because of the gambling element. you can reduce your risk but there's always some hope that even when the odds are down, you can still pull through in the clutch. eternal hope, that's the way poker, blackjack, and fantasy football reel you in. you can tell that this is the addiction point, when you hear the improbable war stories that participants regale each other with on a daily basis. "one year, i was down forty pts and then sterling sharpe had four touchdowns on monday night and i won by one!"
nowadays, fantasy football is a total crapshoot. it's normal for 50% of the top players from one season to the next fall out of the top ranks, but lately, it's getting ridiculous. there are no superstars anymore. even the old standbys can suck it up big time. when your carefully crafted team is getting beat by a benchful of rookies and waiver wire wonders, it's frustrating. the real nfl is all about parity and apparently that trickle down economy is now affecting me at my place of work. anyone with a computer, an internet connection, and a two sided coin can win at fantasy football. anyone except a true master of the art, apparently.
this is ridiculous. i hate this game.
10.02.2006 : 10:26 PM :
he faced the galloping hordes, a hundred bad guys with swords. the bachelor is still on tv? what a complete sham this show is. the only thing the bachelor has proven is that even when set free in a candy shop for weeks on end, a bachelor will still remain -- solidy, firmly, resolutely -- a bachelor. there's been no successful marriages from any seasons in the bachelor. they're in season nine by the way. that's zero for eight so far. this year's twist? the bachelor is an actual prince and the heir to a cosmetics company. so he's rich, able to make any little girl he chooses a princess, and yes, he's italian -- albeit, without the accent. did we mention that his company makes cosmetics for pets? what products does that encompass exactly? bare escentuals, watch out!
well, whatever teh show is doing, it's working. currently, at least four females i know are pinned to their tvs watching the 2-hour premiere. this might be the biggest thing since, well, the last bachelor. really, the key to any reality show is to cast enough weird females to make our normal everyday females have to bitch and complain and verbally catscratch their counterparts on tv. that's it. the formula for a successful reality show is mainly just cast enough "love to hate" personalities to capture america's attention.
the problem with having these rich, successful, good looking men on a show like the bachelor is that being confronted with twenty five women (plus this season's wild cards; two italian ladies brought in to cause some international rift) is nothing. the number of women a man can get is exponentially higher the more desireable they are. if you're someone like brad pitt, you're rejecting 1000-2000 women daily. even as a non-celebrity, if you're someone like this prince lorenzo borghese, you can reject twenty five women just by going out to a nice club for a few hours. so why limit yourself?
on the other hand, for normal guys like me and most of the males i know, twenty five might represent the number of women that might be interested in us ever. like over our entire lives. count it out. how many women could you have possibly selected, or dated, during your lifetime so far. i'd bet that number is somewhere around twenty five -- if not lower. what they should be doing is casting normal joe schmo's on these shows if they want a successful marriage. as long as they continue to cast playboys, they'll never get a bachelor to settle down. oh wait, that's not the point of the show.
the reality show i need to see is one where they pit physically ideal guys versus guys who have great personalities but aren't exactly lookers. finally we can determine whether or not personality trumps physicality. all anecdotal evidence points to "yes," but observational data might say otherwise. where is this reality show? or the one where a charming, gallant asian man faces off against a typical dorky white guy for the love of a cadre of multi-ethnic women. which one wins? or perhaps a reality show based on the infamous ladder theory. these are the type of shows that would entice me, the ones that tackle the big questions.
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