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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Brush With Free Agency

Free agency begins tonight at 12 ET. Let me save you some time. This wont be an in-depth analysis of all the available free agents. I won’t be discussing the needs of teams and drawing the connect-the-dots lines tying the free agents to said teams. If you want something like that— then try google. (Or you could try bing which I already hate, seriously if they decide to advertise one more place it'll have to be the inside of my eyelids. Sleep is pretty much the only place I don't see their annoying ads)

No this brush with free agency is only here to discuss crap that matters to me.

Crap 1)I like to make predictions. I think if you are going to say you know and love sports, predictions are a part of that. Then again, I said JP Losman was going to be the best QB in his class(See Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger) OOPS. With the humble pie having been consumed, here is my prediction; Marcin Gortat will be a player in this league.
I'd love to tell you I've seen a lot his game time in the league. Then I'd love to follow up by recounting the numerous times I saw him play for the Anaheim Arsenal which play 15 min from my palatial condo.

None of that is true though. The only games I have seen Gortat play were in this years playoffs. But as a religious reader of my blog you know about my A-rod rule. "It's what you do when it counts, not what you do with no outs". Gortat played solid through out. Not only is he a solid player, he is a big man in a league suffering for them. He also brings the fundamentals you'd expect from a European player without the glaring softness you normally associate with those players.

Crap2) This only comes second because it is going to be a bit sweeter and a lot shorter. LAMAR ODOM I love your game. I love the way you played for the Lakers this year. But don't lie to yourself; You like being a #2. You defer, and you do it well. Nothing wrong with that. Johnny needed Ed Mcmahon. Batman needed Robin. And my man, Kobe needs you. Ariza is good, but all this hogwash that he can replace you is ridiculous. Stick around, by the time you all quit this run your hand will look like chandeliers

Friday, June 26, 2009

Even if it's broke it doesn't ALWAYS need fixing

You never find a foam 2-finger hand emblazoned with "We're #2". Nobody wears those silly hats and t-shirts that they give out for conference championships. My 5 year old doesn't even like his participation trophies. I don't expect pro franchises to be any happier. There just isn't any celebrating when you don't win it all.

This kind of dissatisfaction is why you can't blame the Magic. They didn't win the Championship; that joy went to the Lakers. So the knee jerk reaction, which they went with, was change. So they trade away Courtney Lee and they aren't really making offers towards Hedo Turkoglu that he is willing to play for. So what is their new solution: Vince Carter. I know it feels right to go with a big name wing-man to help overcome Kobe. But just because they lost didn't mean they we're broken; it doesn't mean they needed fixing. In fact by trying to improve they likely took a step backward.



A big part of their success, in fact the key to it, was the fact you MUST prepare for Dwight Howard in the middle. His size and athleticism make him a force. The second and more important prong of the Magic's attack is that all that time you spent preparing for superman took away the time you could have spent planning for their perimeter shooting. Because Dwight isn't yet developed enough to be a sole force, or even a primary one.

Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu have acknowledged that they tend to shoot in spurts. One of them will be hitting while the other can't seem to find his touch. While they both make a lot of money to combine for a consistent outside shooting threat, the fact is any single shooter goes through streaks. Without one to fill in for the other the Magic wont have the consistent scoring threat they need to support Howard.

Vince Carter is a scorer, and he will get his. He has gotten his everywhere he has played. But he has also never won it all anywhere he has played. He has also shown that when he is unhappy he will NOT play hard. Vince Carter's surly demeanor aside, he just doesn't fit with the Magic's style of play. As he drives and slashes he will find himself with only half a court to play with. He wont be able to drive on the side that Howard is posted and even if he drives on the off side he will still face Howard's man coming with help.

It's not mine but I have learned to like Colin Cowherd's "don't try to get happier than happy". The Magic should be Happy but they are trying to get happier. They have sacrificed a team with no ME players that got to the mountain top as a cohesive unit. In my first prediction for the 2009-2010 NBA season: The Magic wont make it out of the first round of the playoffs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It comes in 3's

It's a silly little phrase. Most reasonable people know that it is just a saying and not a fact. But like all the adages we surround ourselves with, they seem to come from some where. Early this morning I found myself mocking the numerous people on Twitter who we're noting the passing of Farrah Fawcett by asking "who's next?". Her passing along with that of Ed Mcmahon earlier this week gave us two of the three we have come to expect in a group.

As 1 o'clock rolled around Twitter started to buzz with the news of Michael Jackson's hospitalization; quickly followed by news of his passing. As realization set in that I had been a little hasty mocking the "comes in three's" adage I decided I'd call around and let a few people know about his passing.

I am not an ardent supporter of Jacksons music. I liked Thriller and Beat It. If you grew up in the '80's there is no way you didn't like those two. I felt something with his passing, but it was no more powerful than it would be had I found out anyone that I know of had passed. What little his music did for me had been negated long ago by his actions and choices in his personal life. I mean let's face it, dude was WEIRD.

I called my sister more to see if she knew than out of any need to wax longingly about Michael. Once I told her what had happened she immediately called bull. After a little back and forth and few different swears she made me go through she finally bought it. Her next question though was nice for this avid twitterer. "how do you know already when it's not even on my news page?" I answered her with smug satisfaction "I'm on Twitter" WIN

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why are you asking ME what's cool

A freind of mine, Bud, was recently visiting from Chicago. In order to really grasp this story you have to understand that he is one of those people that is constantly on the move; both mentally and phyically. There is always somthing to be gleaned from every person, environment, and situation.
Just before we left for the airport Bud up and decides he's getting on Twitter. I'd basically given up on talking him into it a while ago. Our discussions basically centered around the fact that I thought Twitter was AWESOME, and might even be more useful than it is a time-vacuum. He couldn't see any productive use for it. (This from a guy who plays scrabble on facebook through his iphone).
With only a standard image up on Twitter, I started pimping @budwierenga5 with a tweet before we headed off to LAX. On our way Bud says half-jokingly "well I guess now that everyone is on Twitter I will get on too" without much thought the words "At this point, I wouldn't have bothered, it'll be something besides Twitter in 6 months"
This banter suddenly became a legitmate discussion of Twitter's groundswell into mainstream. I have been on Twitter since January 2007. Not nearly early enough to count as in from the begining but certainy early enough to count as ahead of the curve. That being said I couldn't answer his simple question as to how Twitter suddenly became this moment's hammer-pants.

I have no idea why so many people use it, I have a hard time quantifying why I use it. But one thing I know for sure I am way to G33K to be deciding what's cool and what isn't.

So; Why do you use Twitter? How did you find it? If you have been on it for a while are you enjoying the influx of new blood or do you find it cumbersome?