6.21.2006

Summer sports

I guess the NHL still hasn't gotten the memo -- "Your championship series of games takes place in the second week of JUNE."

Despite that and my total lack of enthusiasm for professional hockey, I did watch game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. It was actually good, despite one of the teams being from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I'm not sure what it is about hockey that doesn't attract more people -- the action is pretty non-stop, players are crashing into boards every 30 seconds, you're almost guaranteed a brawl, and if the arena is packed, it's a loud and high-energy atmosphere. Watching the game in HD on Monday night was actually enjoyable. Maybe if a goal counted for six points, things would be different.

Hockey also one-ups basketball late in close games. While the final minute of a close basketball game might actually take 10 minutes with all the intentional fouling that goes on, hockey pretty much take as long as the clock says. How refreshing.

I also caught the last half of the NBA Finals game seven last night. Bill Simmons was pretty right on that the subplot of this year's finals was 90's NBA vs. 00's NBA. The Heat went Michael-Jordan-style with a superstar (Wade) an all-star (Shaq) everybody else on the team. The Mavs had their superstar (Dirk), but everyone else on the team was called upon to give it their all -- not just feed the ball to Dirk and hope for the best.

It was a pretty good game. I wasn't rooting for either team really, just the sport of basketball. Now that Antoine Walker is a world champion, I can sleep easy.

Remember when the Celtics were the greatest NBA franchise of all-time? I hardly do either. Their media guide probably still says it. It's a joke when you see the quality of play that took place over the last two rounds of the NBA playoffs and then get a piece of direct mail asking for several hundreds of dollars to watch the Celtics play the Pacers. You know a team is in trouble when it resorts to advertising who they're playing, rather than who is playing for them.

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