Monday, June 15, 2009

Who Am I More Disgusted With: Laker Fans, Kobe, Morrison, Jackson, Or My Brother-In-Law?

I should preface this post by saying that I do not like the Lakers at all. I would not say that I am a "Laker-hater" because "hater" is not a word and it is really, really annoying. But I recognize that I was not exactly watching the game last night objectively.

If someday my children ask me to explain irony to them, I will tell them there are three kinds of irony but the most common one is situational irony - when what happens is basically the exact opposite of what you expect to happen, given the circumstances. Like a few weeks ago, I saw a sign on a car advertising for a personal trainer to help me lose weight fast. The driver was a little fat person.

Another example could be Phil Jackson, one of the more self-important, smug people I have witnessed, saying after last night's clinching game that "it's all about them," pointing to his players and referring to how this title came to happen. At the time, Jackson was wearing a bright yellow baseball cap with the Roman numeral "X" on the front to signify his record 10 titles as a head coach. "Ignore this blatant and obnoxious self promotion that shows how great I am, because it's all about them!"

Earlier in the day on Sunday, I had changed my Facebook status to say that I was excited for the Lakers to win so I could go out and loot a new TV and birthday presents for my wife. I sorta thought I was kidding. Once the game ended and the throngs of Laker fans looking for an excuse to riot in the streets showed up on the news, I realized that some people really are as ignorant and violent as I had been joking that they were.

In 2000 the Lakers won it all and 70 vehicle were damaged by rioters, mostly at a car dealership down the street from Staples Center. Some were police cars that these jackasses lit on fire. Another was a news van that they tipped over. This time, they threw fireworks and road-flares at police, damaged a police car, and set bonfires in the streets. Apparently there was some looting as well. What a proud heritage. Does this happen in other cities?

Last week NBC prevented the Red Wings from televising Stanley Cup Finals games from Pittsburgh at Joe Louis Arena because having that many fans all in one place was hurting their ratings for the area. I am disgusted by this and wonder if sports bars will be next to get the axe, but I thought it was funny that they didn't show it there for that reason, but they didn't show the Laker game at Staples Center because they knew that that many Laker fans in one place would certainly cause a riot. They got a riot anyway, of course (at least 25 arrested and at least one cop in the hospital).

When the Giants won the Super Bowl two years ago, I can't quite remember, but I don't think there was any part of me that thought, "I'm so happy, I could assault a police officer!"

Perhaps the greatest shame in all of this is that Sasha Vujacic and Adam Morrison now have NBA Championship rings. One of my favorite moments from the awkwardly staged celebrations after the game was when ABC went to the locker room to see them celebrating and Laker players were obediently standing around Kobe Bryant in a semi-circle, watching as he poured champagne on himself and repeatedly screamed, "Hell yeah!" No one seemed to be able to remember their cues and they all just stood there. In the background was Morrison in a now-disheveled shirt-and-tie, drinking out of a bottle all by himself. You could almost feel him thinking, "Suck on that J.J. Reddick, I am the next Larry Bird."

Maybe I am overly critical (yes I am), but didn't the entire postgame celebration feel like they were waiting for cameras to be on Kobe and his family? Didn't it seem like bad-sitcom TV. Like they'd call go to those cameras and then after a momentary delay, everyone would react for a time and then sorta stop and look at the cameras as if to say, "Are we still on? I don't remember what else I'm supposed to do in this scene." Everyone else seemed genuine and ecstatic, but the Bryants just seemed cardboard and staged. I can't wait for those little girls to grow up and write memoirs about how terrified they were all the time as children.

Why were Kobe's wife and daughters on stage-center for the trophy celebrations? MVP trophy...OK, but why the championship trophy? Derek Fisher's wife was with him on the court for a postgame interview, but I didn't see her on the stage.

Anyway, moving on. The person I really can't stand after all of this is my brother-in-law, Jeff. In my lifetime, I feel a bit spoiled to have seen the Giants win three Super Bowls and lose another, the Mets won a World Series and lost another, the Clippers made it to Game 7 of the second round once, and the Kings once lost a Stanley Cup Final. Also my college basketball team won a Tourney game in 2008. Pretty good success overall. So how has Jeff's 2009 gone? USC football beats the hell out of everyone all the time, but didn't win a National Championship (because there isn't one). The Lakers won the title. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup. The Steelers won the Super Bowl. And the Dodgers have the best record in baseball. Bastard.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

That's what I am talkin about!!!! Go Blue! (not Michigan)