The Year-Ender or Santa’s Mistakes

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
30 December 2012

While many of us have enjoyed the holiday season, a few people found the proverbial lump of coal in their stockings…so here’s hoping for better for them in 2013:

I.   Mike Brown

The former Laker coach received the worst early Christmas present, a pink slip after an handful of games.  Brown hardly got to see everyone together on the court before getting the ax.  Maybe he wasn’t the ideal coach for that collection of players, but it was still unfair to a coach that has taken a team to the Finals.

II.   Avery Johnson

When was the last time the Nets were at .500 one-third of the way through the season?  Okay, you can google that…but the point is that at 14-14 the Nets were where the franchise has not often been of late…and therefore if you feel that record warrants firing the coach, you must think more highly of their roster than a lot of other people.  And by the way, Avery, too, has coached a team to the Finals – and won a ring as the starting point guard for the San Antonio Spurs in 1999.

III.   Tim Tebow

All I will say is that I certainly hope he gets an handsome share of the profits from all of the green and white merchandise sold with his name on it, to make up in part for the horrible hand he was dealt by the New York Jets.

IV.  Michael Vick

During the last couple of seasons I have felt like trying out for a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line…in that I think I couldn’t do a worse job in protecting Michael Vick than they have.  Watch and see how Vick – if he winds up on a team with a solid line – proves to be one of the most unique quarterbacks in the league.

There should be an opening in North Jersey…but maybe stay away from that one.

V.   NHL Fans

As the two sides inch closer to season cancellation…

VI.   Bobcats and Wizards Fans

Boy, they are having it hard…but at least their league is playing games.  If only Michael Jordan would come back downstairs from the owner’s box and suit up for the Bobcats – but then again, MJ will be turning 50 in a few weeks.  So that would need to be the 1993 Jordan, not the 2013 version.

VII.  Barack Obama

Actually President Obama probably had a pretty good November…check the Nate Silver blog if you need confirmation…and then went off to Christmas vacation in Hawaii.  Unfortunately, he had to cut the vacation short due to the Republican and Tea Party members of Congress.  Hopefully those folks will have gotten some sense under their trees.

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The Perfect Case

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
14 December 2012

I.   The Results Are In

I happened to be standing behind two friends in an elevator, one of whom (whom I will refer to as “New”) pulled out an iPhone 5. The other one (whom I will call “Observer”) began, or resumed, their conversation thusly:

Observer:  You need to get a case for that.
New:  I know.  I dropped it already; I was scared it was going to crack.  I need to find the perfect case.
Observer:  In the meantime, you should find an imperfect case.

Should she have a problem finding an imperfect case, perhaps she could reach out to the Republicans in Congress, who seem to be the masters at not making good cases.  When you hear Speaker Boehner continue to defend the need to retain the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy, you almost think he – as well as so many from their party – have been asleep since November 6th.  So I thought – as a public service – I would provide a recap of what happened last month, just in case they were unsure of what the people wanted, as indicated by their votes:

Obama – 332 electoral votes 
Romney – 206 electoral votes

President Obama re-elected.  Democrats gain Senate seats.  Democrats gain House seats.  Seems pretty clear to me…but then again, in the event that you’re more into hoops, let’s look at it like this:

If we divide each candidate’s electoral vote total by two, we come up with 166 and 103.  Now imagine hearing that the Chicago Bulls (of Obama’s home town) had beaten the Boston Celtics (of Romney’s home town) or the Detroit Pistons (of Romney’s boyhood state) or the Utah Jazz (of Romney’s former state) or the Sacramento Kings (of a state where Romney owns a home) by the score of 166-103.  You would think the losers had taken one of the worst drubbings of all time.

II.  Over The Cliff

Time for a rare NHL mention in The SEVEN.  In Washington, it’s clearly GOP stubbornness that is leading us towards the so-called “fiscal cliff.” In the NHL labor standoff, I don’t know where the blame should be tossed – but I do know this:  it took baseball quite a while to recover from the loss of the 1994 World Series to a labor dispute.  The NHL has already lost the entire 2004-05 season – and before non-fanatic NHL fans get to the point where they don’t miss it’s absence, they need to work to see that it doesn’t happen again. 

III.   Worth A Try

Maybe it’s because I might not be watching as much football as in the past, or maybe it’s because I wasn’t living in Denver last year, or maybe I am just one that believes the hype.  But it just seems that when Tim Tebow played last year, the Broncos would more often than not get the W.  The fact that he may not be the traditional pocket/arm-strength QB may be irrelevant; if he is the type that puts wins on the board, perhaps this is when the New York Jets should see if it is Tebow Time.

IV.  The Wright Stuff

In Spike Lee’s classic film, “Do The Right Thing,” Ozzie Davis’ character, “the Mayor,” admonished Mookie (Spike’s character) to “always do the right thing.”  Like virtually all of the characters in that movie (with the exception of “the Mayor”), the New York Mets’ organization has often found a way to do the wrong thing…but this time they probably did the right thing in re-signing third baseman David Wright to a long-term deal virtually assuring he will finish his career in Queens.  David’s a fan favorite, you’re not going to replace him with a better player among those available, and he can be one of the cornerstones of your rebuilding. Granted, he is being paid like a superstar as opposed to the very good player he is, but that’s the way it goes. 

Now why didn’t they think that way last year with Jose Reyes?

V.   Really, Lakers?

In my NBA Preview of October 30th, I spoke of how fitting it would be if in commissioner David Stern’s final full season, the Celtics were to meet the Lakers in the NBA Finals, bringing back memories of the battles that defined the revival of the league, so to speak, in the 1980’s.  I emailed friends comparing the current Laker roster to those of the Showtime era teams.  And now they are off to a 10-14 start, 9-14 before tonight’s six-point win over the Washington Generals.

But Laker fans, take heart…the Seattle Supersonics (the old school OKC Thunder, so to speak) got off to a 5-17 start in 1977-78, but still recovered to win the Western Conference – so all hope is not lost.  That said, they are going to have to play some great ball once Steve Nash and Pau Gasol rejoin the lineup just to make the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Celtics are behind a few teams in the East at 12-9, but I still think they’ll be among the last standing among the playoff teams if Rajon Rondo continues to build upon his current status as best point guard in the game. 

VI.   Cloudy and Cold

The management of KTBS-TV in Shreveport, LA says they fired African-American meteorologist Rhonda Lee because she violated company policy regarding viewer contact on the station’s Facebook page. The Internet chatter says they fired her because she defended her right to go weave/perm-less.  

Certainly they could have found a solution short of termination…and with that said, they certainly can and should revisit their decision.  Furthermore, I would encourage them to invite Ms. Lee and the person that made the original post questioning her hairstyle choice to take part in an on-air forum in this regard, something that could benefit the entire community on several levels.

VII.   Farewell To Arms

In the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut this morning, coming on the heels of the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide, the Colorado movie theater shooting and countless others, it is sad to note – and a sad commentary – that in many places it is easier to get a gun than to cast a vote.  This young man has made the perfect case for better and stricter gun control laws.