Headlines That Are Better Without Sports
Also, Giannis, obviously.
STICK TO [this space intentionally left blank]
There’s a lot of sports around these parts. That’s good. I don’t want to suggest sports are bad.
But. Sports do occasionally give us headlines that would be a lot better if they weren’t about sports.
Now yes, I’m sure it’s very interesting what teams should do about the NHL expansion draft and the new team up in the Northwest. But permit me, if you will, to instead imagine a horrific The Lottery-esque ritual involving the dreaded sea beast of the Puget Sound. You get rid of your seafaring allies, the Hartford Whalers, and you reap the wretched prize.
Frogs ousting Cardinals? Folks,,,,,, this hasn’t been seen since Paris in 1789! Long live the Jacobins!
Now, let’s go live to me, writing that joke:
An all-time classic. There’s a South Park reference to be made here, but that episode is super transphobic and has aged as well as a fart-flavored cheesecake in a black Humvee on a hot summer day, so, moving on.
First of all, Jonquel is going ballistic this season. Second, I’m a little bummed there isn’t more of a playoff or rivalry history between Phoenix and Connecticut — there’s so many “Sun vs. Mercury” headlines still sitting unwritten and undiscovered. A GALACTIC BATTLE FOR THE AGES.
Finally, RIP to Norman Hand, who gave us the first and greatest. Gone too soon.
OKAY NOW STICK TO SPORTS
Up until approximately 48 hours ago, LeBron James chasing down Andre Iguodala was, rather unquestionably, the greatest block in NBA Finals history. In fact, let’s watch it again.
Now? Now there’s a question.
Taking nothing away from the moment and the circumstance and everything about what LeBron did — it’s forever etched in basketball history — but what Giannis Antetokounmpo did with Game 4 on the line is right up there with it.
First, let’s recall that Giannis hyperextended his knee just 10 days prior and puts an even more serious injury on the line every time he plays. It would have been completely understandable if he had taken the Finals off. How do you even play on that at all?!
Second, not only is Giannis playing, not only is he playing at full speed, but with the game (and, effectively, the series) on the line, Giannis…
took away a mid-range jumper from Devin Booker, who had been feasting from inside the arc (17-25 for 2) all game;
forced a high-arcing alley-oop pass by playing up to the free-throw line;
recovered with the ball in midair and challenged one of the best rim finishers in the league, 7-foot-1 DeAndre Ayton, at the high point;
blocked that business clean as a whistle;
PRESERVED A 2-POINT LEAD WITH UNDER 90 SECONDS LEFT.
It doesn’t make sense. None of it makes sense. Not only should a human being not be able to move like that under the best of conditions, but how did Giannis even get the idea in the moment to even try that? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the alley AND the oop successfully defended by the same player.
Full disclosure: I had extremely low expectations for this year’s NBA Finals. Seemed even more deserving of the Mythical Asterisk than even the COVID Bubble Finals of last autumn. But this is quickly turning into something remarkable and compelling, and after a season and postseason full of injuries to the game’s biggest stars, it’s what the sport sorely needed. I’ll take 3 more games that are this competitive, please and thank you.
STICK TO AFFIRMATIONS
Thanks for joining me today. We’ll always end on a kind word.
Life and culture are saturated with entities trying to sell you things. Advertisement isn’t in and of itself a bad thing — most of the things I own I had to find out about from somewhere — but it’s a whole lot, especially when something or someone tells you that the way to be happy and/or healthy is through consuming some X, Y or Z. It’s exhausting to keep up with, and it’s just not true.
Real peace, happiness and love, restorative and fulfilling, are not subject to terms of purchase. Deep down, we all know they’re nurtured from within. They’re not only free of charge, but it’s even more rewarding to give them freely than it is to receive. You’re a human being, so you deserve to receive it all, and you’re good enough for it to mean something when you give these things away.
Sometimes it means dropping everything to attend to a crisis. Sometimes it’s affection. Sometimes it’s just being present. No matter what, it’s something you can do and you can get. You’re worth it. We all are.
That’s all. Happy weekend, y’all.