…of the world.
Long time no type! I accept full responsibility for my/our hiatus: The 2012 NBA Playoffs were happening and in spite of watching the fewest games in years, they occupied the usual amount of peripheral attention and consternation. It was mystifying.
And the outcome? Feh. (The Miami Heat won.) Lebron James–1/3 and the largest of stars for the Miami Heat–has vacillated between being excruciatingly boring as a human to pretty arrogant (not because of The Decision1, but because he relished and publicized the nickname of “King James” without any irony or construction of a castle featuring a moat stocked with alligators).
At the same time, he is bigger, faster and/or stronger than everyone else on the court and kinda unequivocally the best basketball player in the world. Why shouldn’t he win a title!? Or more pointedly: Why do I care if he is either boring or arrogant? That is not what his job entails.
For the past 24 years, I have been cheering the Phoenix Suns, the “most winning franchise to have never won an NBA Championship” as Wikipedia coldly puts it. As a fan of that oft-winning-but-never-champion team, my rubric for what constitutes a “good” team has been based largely around the personalities and not talents of its players. I believed our team this past year–a year in which personality really had to outshine talent–only had a fighting chance each night and of making the Playoffs because of our estimable rapport and overabundance of high fives, due largely to the stewardship of our coach Alvin Gentry and our point guard/one true star2/Great North American White Hope, Steve Nash. Jared Dudley, Grant Hill, Channing Frye: All of these dudes seem nice and/or hilarious. It was fun imagining that they3 could win.
We would never be as haughty as the Heat. We deserve it. While I happen to agree with those statements, the lone benefit of us being perpetual losers affords the opportunity to project what we–as fans–want our team to be. It affords–hopefully not forever but up until this point–us never to fail at winning because we’ve failed to win. This makes the team extremely relatable.
The more storied and famous Professional Losers are the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox, until 2004 when they won a World Series (and then another 3 years later). While Boston flipped its motherfuckingshit when they won and fans would never say contrary, I happen to think that some sort of Red Sox romance was lost when they won. Dreaming is always better than reality. Or at least that’s what I tell myself4.
Sorry to bore you with sports stuff; sorry to take forever. Let’s get back to being Wiggles & Wax Champions.
Welcome back to your blog! Your one fan has missed you a great deal. Now, onto sports.
SPORTS! I don’t follow ‘em5, so most of what you said, while sounding super sports savvy, read like gibberishy hieroglyphics; however, I am context-cluing that this team of cocky douchelords led by King James won this big, important battle that means a lot to you (and the rest of the country) and it sucks when shitty people win great things.
I meeeean, it kinda sucks when any people (that aren’t you or your team) win any things (that you or your team didn’t win), except for underdogs (who never win anything) because it gives the rest of us losers hope. And, when I say losers, I mean those of us who are living normal (and, therefore, partially-unfulfilled) lives. We all want what we don’t have and need what is out of our reach. We aren’t rich enough, thin enough, or loved enough. It ties back into the charm of nostalgia. Everything is peachy in our mind’s eye which is why dreaming is naturally cooler than reality. Dreams don’t entail paying the rent or getting a flat tire or having a migraine. They’re about the good life — winning the lottery or buying that duplex or retiring on da beach. We all win in our dreams. Annnnd, then we wake up, and life is hard, and now I feel like I’ve gone off on some truly neurotic rant that has nothing to do with Lebron James, so let me just go ahead and steer this sinking ship back to my original point.
No one likes a winner – especially a winner who always wins — because normal people don’t always win. (See the lottery.) Welllll, that’s not entirely true either. The winner is stoked that he won, and so is the winner’s mom/dad/immediate family. (This bleeds into my theory about weddings. I mean, dig deep and stay with me here. Who really likes weddings? Unless you’re the bride or groom or part of the immediate family (really, mostly their mothers), there’s always a small part of you at weddings that silently begrudges the happy couple for making you spend money on them and for being so happy. Since we see the world through our inherently self-centered lens, it’s only natural to go “oh look at them – so happy, so in love, oh god I hate them, which really means ‘Oh, god I hate myself.’”)
Does anyone like the prom queen? I mean, it’s one winning person out of 200 – 600 losers (depending on the size of the school), and chances are, she’s tall, blond and perfect to boot and who likes that shitty person? That shitty person’s been winning her entire life, so she can just fuck right off, amirite? Unless of course she’s a nice prom queen, in which case, the blow is partially cushioned; but on the other hand, a nice prom queen is even more annoying than a bitchy prom queen because the nice prom queen really does have it all, in which case, ew to that shit. Although, there is something to be said for the Hollywood celebrity with the winning reputation. I like my celebrities nice. If he or she is gonna have everything, he’d better still be humble and human, which brings us back to King James who’s amazing, yes, but he knows it and who likes someone who knows he’s amazing. Double ew.
Basically, be a good person, don’t win things, and hate yourself deep down inside and we’ll be cool.
Lovable losing to you and yours,
- The Decision was the decision to televise the decision to leave his first, quasi-hometown team the Cavaliers for the Heat. Decisions decisions. [↩]
- At least until Sunday, when he is able to sign with any other team. [↩]
- And before They of 2012, They of Past Years: Amar’e, Charles Barkley, Richard Dumas, Kevin Johnson, Leandro Barbosa, Tom Chambers, Ced Ceballos, Alvan Adams, Oliver Miller (if just to test the limits of rotundity and athleticism), et al. [↩]
- While this is a literary setup for you to tell me otherwise, there’s some ferreal truth, as it was found later found out that two of Boston’s heaviest hitters tested positive for steroids during their World Series period. [↩]
- Although, I went to a soccer game the other night and had the best time ever! SPORTS! [↩]