Apologies if you saw the beginning of this last night – I’m still not sure how touching a post marked “local draft” in the WordPress app made it publish, but here’s the full version.
We have been watching a LOT of NBA Playoffs at my house. It started because we were checking on the Knicks and the Thunder (uh, and the Nets- we have a lot of basketball allegiances) and yet “hey is a game on tonight?” has become a common refrain. There’s just so many things I find delightful this year. Here are five of them.
Last weekend, while watching the Knicks pull out their one playoff victory over the Heat, I realized that I had barely spoken about my newly discovered love for Tyson Chandler. I enjoyed Linsanity, of course, and I still think the New York media should cut Melo a break, but I was raised on the bruising, defensive basketball of the Big Eight and Big XII — a true defensive star is always going to catch my eye. Although, there are other reasons for Tyson to catch my eye, which I will be happy to share with you while I gush.
Since the Cardinals played the Opening Night game on ESPN this year, on actual Opening Day I had my pick of games on MLB.tv. By the time I got home from work, the Indians and Blue Jays were tied in the 9th inning. “Oh, I’ll just watch this quick dramatic conclusion,” I thought. Then it turned out to be the longest Opening Day game ever played. It went on so long, in fact, that the benches for both teams saw a lot of work. Which brought in Omar Vizquel. Who yesterday turned 45.
A longtime Indian now with Toronto, Vizquel got a warm round of applause from the Cleveland fans both when he was first inserted as a defensive replacement, and later when the game went on long enough to give him an at bat. In an MLB where players my age are now considered on the far side of their prime, and where many of his contemporaries are now mangers, Vizquel’s longevity is both remarkable and jarring. (Related: Chipper Jones turned 40 the same day. Chipper. Jones. is 40.)
Other sports news properly introduced with “it seems like only yesterday….”
Let’s see, my beloved Sooner women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker Tuesday, then yesterday there was You-Know-Who to the Jets, oh, and you might remember my boyfriend’s a Saints fan… it’s been a frustrating sports week.
Here are three things making me happy.
1. Brittany Griner and the Baylor Women’s Basketball Team. I suppose I should hate them since they smoked my girls twice this year, but they’ve smoked everyone this year (at 36-0, their margin of victory was in the single digits only 4 times; 3 of those victories were over Tennessee, UConn, and defending champion Texas A&M). The Bears, and star player Brittany Griner, are so good that you can’t help admiring their skill. I know accusing ESPN of bias is nothing new, but let’s just say that if this team had “UConn” on their jerseys we’d be hearing a lot of “Best Women’s Team Ever” talk out of Bristol. Do yourselves a favor and check out one of their tourney games in the next couple of weeks.
I had planned to spend this week’s post reviewing an awesome book on baseball I received for Christmas (I will post it next week right before pitches & catchers report – yay!). However, I live in New York City, and there is one sports story everyone is talking about this week. No, not the Giants. The Knicks. More specifically, Jeremy Lin.
You don’t have to live here very long to learn that, although New Yorkers like football (especially if one of the teams is winning), this city truly lives for baseball in the spring and summer and basketball in the winter. And while the Yankees have to split the city with the Mets, the Knicks (for one more season, at least) are in many ways the only sports team the entire city can get behind. Unfortunately, as long as I’ve been here, they’ve also been mediocre at best, or flat out terrible at worst.
For those of you who observed Easter this weekend, we hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and avoided eating your weight in ham and chocolate (um, unlike me.) Here’s a quick look at what you may have missed over your three-or-four day weekend.
I almost didn’t make it to Wednesday’s Knicks-Hornets game. First, I had it down on my calendar for Thursday. Then there was the massive sinus attack that had me spending most of Wednesday afternoon lying flat on my back to keep my head from spinning. At 5:30, I was convinced my immune system had betrayed me. Luckily, the decongestant finally kicked in about half an hour later and I began to feel, if not perfectly healthy, at least capable of sitting upright and watching basketball for a few hours.
It was definitely worth it. I had been to Madison Square Garden before, but never for a basketball game. And particularly not a basketball game featuring Amare (over there on the left), Chris Paul, the newly arrived Carmelo, and a surprise mystery guest. More pictures and details after the jump!