Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why Carmelo Anthony Going to the Knicks is the Best Thing for Me

This blog is all about me. It always has been, and it always will be (until I get picked up by a website and they start paying me to do this). always will be.

Which is why when an NBA super-star gets traded I can find a way for it to positively affect me.

That said, here are five reasons why Carmelo Anthony being traded to the NY Knicks is the best thing for me, and my NBA enjoyment.

1. Everything is better when NY is the villain - New York might be the only city that can sway the success of an entire professional sports league.

The NFL got about 16 times more interesting when Rex Ryan came to the Jets and began hiring the leagues more, um, 'frowned-upon' players while making claims of winning Super Bowls, beating the Patriots, and smelling women's feet.

The only time I can remember actively watching MLB was during 2004 when the Red Sox and Yankees faced off in the ALCS. That was 7 years ago! I haven't watched baseball since.

Sources say I'm not missing anything.

The New York Red Bulls (that's the MLS team for those of you who don't, all of you) have been a middle of the pack team for years, and Major League Soccer hasn't been doing so hot in America. know. You can see a clear correlation there.

The New York Rangers have been...OK, I think I made my point. Go look it up for yourself if you need more convincing.

Now, after the Knicks have been beyond irrelevant for the last 10 years, I actually began to pity them. It's like watching an Al Pacino film from this decade. He used to be the biggest star and one of the most imposing acting forces on Earth, and then you watch The Recruit, 88 Minutes, and Righteous Kill and you just start feeling bad for him. Maybe its time he pulls a Sean Connery and start doing voice-overs for video games. Let us remember his great films nostalgically and not force us to watch his decrepit body crumble before our eyes on screen.

The Knicks were irrelevant and the Eastern Conference was boring. You had the Celtics (which are a fun team to watch and you can easily form an opinion for or against them) and the Magic (who you want to like but never really take seriously). Before that it was the Cavaliers (with LeBron) or the Pistons (snooze). I don't know about you, but when I think Orlando, Cleveland and Detroit I don't exactly think NBA powerhouses. It's been the Lakers and Spurs show for the past 10 years. Yawn.

Now the Knicks are relevant. Carmelo, Amare, Chauncey Billups and company. Al Pacino starred in "You Don't Know Jack" which is up for nomination. And I can rest easy and be comfortable again. I can hate the NY Knicks. After rooting for them to get Carmelo for the past 7 months, I can immediately flip the switch and begin to loathe their entire being.

Life is good.

2. The Power has Shifted to the Eastern Conference - Don't worry. Don't skip ahead. I'm not actually going to break down the power shift in the NBA. I just want to use this paragraph to rant about Kobe Bryant. (But let it be known that the Eastern Conference is in a trading frenzy right now moving pieces and trying to one-up each other with the bigger acquisition - Deron Williams traded to the Nets, Wizards making moves, Hawks making moves, etc.)

OK, so Kobe. Just when I was beginning to respect the guy as a player and a professional and he goes and does what he did in the All-Star game. I've never seen someone so concerned with winning the MVP of the All-Star game. He was doing everything he could on the court (including shooting 26 times in 29 minutes) to ensure he would get the most meaningless honor given in the NBA. He's like the kid in class who doesn't have any friends and gets picked on a lot so he focuses all his attention on studying and becoming really smart. He wins every spelling bee and gets high marks on all his tests like he's going to prove himself to the rest of the class. Look, we get it, you're smart. High-fives for everyone. Now lets head to the bathroom for your Thursday afternoon swirly.

Maybe he wasn't hugged enough as a child or maybe his dad, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, drove him too hard. Or maybe it was growing up with a dad nicknamed "Jellybean". Who knows. But when you try that hard in an exhibition game to prove yourself, you deserve to have your knee caps removed and used for batting practice with Jose Cancseco.

It's like Kobe has a list of Michael Jordan's accomplishments on his bedroom wall. And if he can just check off every box that MJ did, then Kobe can be called at least as good as MJ was. (Jordan had three All-Star MVP awards, Kobe now has four). I'm sure he raced home, got out his big red Sharpie and added a check mark to his list.

What a loser.

3. The NBA is Exploding Right Now - It started with the Boston Celtics back in 2007 when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, assembling the first Big Three (of this generation) since Manu, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan down in San Antonio. In 2008 Pau Gasol (one of the league's premier centers) gets traded to the Lakers for a chicken sandwich, two handshakes and a side-hug. Then LeBron and Chris Bosh go to the Heat to join forces with Dwayne Wade. Struggling teams all over are clearing cap space to sign big name free agents. Amare goes to NY, Carmelo gets traded there. Deron Williams goes to New Jersey while teams are clearing cap space for Chris Paul's free agency coming up.

The NBA is a fantasy league right now (credit @JoeFuller4 for that).

And you know me....I LOVE FANTASY SPORTS!!!

4. Playoff basketball is going to be so good this year - I won't belabor this point either. The Eastern Conference will shake down something like this:

1.  Boston (4 All-Stars)
2. Miami (3 All-Stars)
3. Chicago (1 All-Star)
4. Orlando (1 All-Star)
5. Atlanta (2 All- Star)
6. New York (1 Eastern Conference All-Star, 1 Western Conference All-Star)

The entire Eastern Conference All-Star team came from 6 out of the 16 teams. Those 6 teams are the top 6 ranked teams in the Conference. You think any of these teams look forward to playing each other in the playoffs? Get your popcorn ready...I just used a T.O. joke from 2005 and deserve to have my keyboard taken away.

5. The Washington Wizards - Carmelo going to the Knicks and the subsequent trading frenzy that has followed has finally allowed me to let go. I no longer need to pretend that the Wizards can be anything other than completely irrelevant in the NBA until at least 2026. I'm giving it 15 years. Why? Unless Washington suddenly becomes the hot place to play, we're not going to get any big name free agents for a while. We have no pieces to trade, we have the ugliest uniforms and a name from a game of Dungeons & Dragons. No one is coming here.

So we have to wait out the primes of LeBron, Wade, Amare, Carmelo, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Joe Johnson, Rajon Rondo, and others. By that time the Wizards may have accumulated enough Lottery picks to have done something worthwhile.

Either way, John Wall's prime will be past and his talent will have been squandered. Sure, he'll break the assist record and set a consecutive double-double streak for every game in the entire season. But the Wizards will win 20-30 games and never make it out of the East.

So, here's to the 2030's! That's the decade I'm calling for Washington sports. We'll be relevant then. And it's only 19 years away!

I'm going to go hit myself in the head with a shovel...hopefully that makes the next 20 years go by faster.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Laugh Richter Scale

Sometimes there are things in life that need to be defined. This is one of those times. If you're new to social media (read, just had your 7th birthday), or are above the age of 35, it can be confusing talking to people via Gchat, Twitter, text, etc. Especially when it comes to what is funny.

Simple things have become increasingly complex over the years. It used to be that saying "haha" meant you were laughing at something. Yet, there was a period in college where all of my texts started with "haha". As in:

1) You going to the basketball game tonight?
2) Haha, yea I'll be there.


1) Dude, I have to take summer courses cause I failed my final.
2) Haha, that blows.

This made it awkward when someone texted me something that was legitimately funny. I had to exponentially increase the number of "haha's" in order to drive my point home.

1) I just farted in class!
2) Haha, hahahahahahahahahahah (just want to clarify I was actually laughing at that...)

And don't even get me started on "lols". What was once teenage girl vernacular quickly became everyday dialect for all ages and genders.

In order to bring some clarity to the definition, interpretation and underlying implications of today's fast moving laugh-descriptors, I have assembled the following "Laugh Richter Scale". It's the greatest use of my time since I watched every episode of every season of Celebrity Apprentice.

The Laugh Richter Scale:

The Laugh: "Ha"
Definition: "Your sarcastic remark resonated with me"
1) Man, being a Patriots fan is hard. Don't worry though, the Redskins will get there one day.
2) ha
2) I want to kill you mercilessly.

The Laugh: "Ha."
Definition: "I hate you."
1) I mean, look, I know my Steelers have been to the Super Bowl 8 times, and we've won 6 of them (including 2 this decade), but we REALLY should have beaten the Packers. Its completely unfair that we lost!
2) Ha.

The Laugh: "Hah"
Definition: "Yea, like THAT would ever happen." or "I type at such a blazingly fast speed that, not only do my finger tips have blisters on them, but I'm so far into my next statement I can't go back and add another 'a' to that, so you're going to have to make do without it."
1) I'm totally going to apply for the open COO position at work. I could be like the youngest COO in company history. I know the company, and I can totally sit in a big office all day and practice my putting game! The job is basically mine to begin with. I'll hire you on as my secretary or something when I get it. My 2.4 GPA in college was only because I was smarter than my professors and they hated me.
2) hah
2) So you'll be able to hook me up with free Junior Bacon Cheesburger's all the time then, right?

The Laugh: "Haha"
Definition: I acknowledge your statement.
1) I came into work today and like, everyone else was late! Can you believe that! I was on time! And everyone was late! And I'm like...why are you getting paid more than me when you don't show up on time? I mean, yea, I do spend the first 2 hours when I'm at work on Facebook, but whatever, right? Do you know what I mean?...
2) haha, yea...

The Laugh: "lol" 
Definition: I recently said "haha" and I want to keep our conversation fresh. Either way, I acknowledge that you said something, whether or not I was paying attention. Its worth noting that I still haven't actually laughed.
1) its like, I'm the only one in on time every day! Ugh! My life is miserable and I have no friends and everything I do is just the worst! Don't you feel bad for me?
2) lol, yea...

The Laugh: "ROFL"
Definition: I am one of your parents, or one of your parents friends, and I saw this in a tech magazine. I'm using it because I can relate to you.
1) You will not guess what our dog Bernie did today! He came in from outside and scooted his butt around on the carpet! I was ROFL!
2) Oh that sounds pretty gross.
1) Can we be friends?
2) No.

The Laugh: "Bwah-ha-ha!"
Definition: I want to laugh like a vampire.
1) Yea, I read the Twilight books, they were really good. Why do you ask?
2) Bwah-ha-ha!
1), I have a boyfriend.

The Laugh: "Hahaha"
Definition: I actually thought that was funny.
1) Dude, Kanye just tweeted "NO ALCOHOL BEFORE TATTOOS"
2) Hahaha

The Laugh: "Hahahaha"
Definition: I REALLY thought that was funny!
1) Dude, Kanye just tweeted "Do you know where to find marble conference tables? I'm looking to have a conference...not until I get the table though"
2) Hahahaha

The Laugh: "Muahahahaha!"
Definition: I have no friends, but I REALLY want some.
1) I'm just going to dip out of work early today. Screw my boss, its too nice outside.
2) Muahahahaha!
1) Ok, take it easy pal.

The Laugh: "aaaaahahahaha!"
Definition: That joke was slightly offensive...but I'm laughing at it anyway.
1) Sometimes I get so excited my thoughts come out jumbled. I'm like that LA reporter, "And the irgle of furningaf be gurgle de lookernat".
2) aaaahahahaha! aw, sad.

The Laugh: "BAHahahahaha!"
Definition: I blurted out laughter before catching myself, resulting in disgusting looks from my co-workers. But I don't care because that was hilarious!
1) What's a human suitcase?
2) Its that thing of when a midget on roller skates puts on all your clothes and you pull them through an airport.
2) Haven't you seen Saturday Night Live's Stefon?

The Laugh: "BLAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahhahaha!"
Definition: I peed a little.
1) That was a quick trip to the bathroom.
2) I just peed a little.

(Editor's note: I may have misinterpreted this one.)

Definition: I peed a lot.
1) Steven Tyler's face.

The Laugh: "ZOMG!" 
Definition: I have no friends. And I probably don't deserve any.
2) So you're sure we went to high school together?
1) ZOMG! We totes did! I had a class near you!
1) You want to come over and play Tekken with me?
1) ...??

Thank you, and goodnight.