by Mack Williams
13 June 2014
I. Now I Can Die In Peace
…was the sign a long-suffering New York Rangers fan held up after the Rangers won the Stanley Cup after a forty-some year drought in 1994. Now they are almost halfway towards a drought of the same length, and seem to be not likely to reverse that in these Stanley Cup finals, down 3 games to 1. That said, the Rangers have provided excitement and a great human interest story in the area, even for non-NHL fans, with their numerous comebacks throughout the playoffs, as well as the way the team rallied around Martin St. Louis following the passing of his mother – and seemed to take their play up a notch afterwards.
Meanwhile, off the ice, the NHL competition committee is looking into some rule changes. I wonder if they have heard of my two-point goal proposal?
II. Know Your Neighbors?
In 1994 the New York Knicks played in the Finals as well as the Rangers, and Ranger hero Mark Messier brought the Stanley Cup to the Knick locker room after they had won to motivate the Knicks…who went on to lose in seven games to Houston. Should the Rangers come back to win this year, they will find no one down the hall to show the Cup to except for Phil Jackson and new head coach Derek Fisher, both of whom have seen numerous championship trophies.
And they may not see another soon…despite the great career as a player and leader that Fisher has enjoyed. Just because Fisher knows the triangle offense, that won’t mean automatic success; he’s not bringing Kobe along with him.
III. Off Pitch
Over in Queens, in the latest of the New York Mets’ post game concert series, New York native 50 Cent will be in concert tomorrow night. Were I able to go, I would surely enjoy hearing his hip-hop classic, In Da Club…which kids are surprised to see on my phone/iPad, right after Imagine Me by Kirk Franklin.
I could, however, do without seeing him throw off the mound….after his horrible first pitch a few weeks back where he threw it closer to the club than home plate. Google it if you haven’t seen it.
IV. Monday Morning Quarterback
After last year in the Eastern Conference Finals, when Indiana’s Roy Hibbert kicked butt against everyone in the Miami middle, the Heat obviously thought that they would meet up with the Pacers again and should try to fortify the center position. So they went and signed the oft-injured Greg Oden, who had not played in several seasons due to injury. If he could give three good minutes, I’m sure the thought was, those might be the minutes that make the difference in the series.
Little did they know that – upon meeting Indiana again – Hibbert would be of little consequence in the series. In retrospect, they might have done better getting another skilled wing player to help against San Antonio…but then again, maybe not. The Spurs are the greatest TEAM of this generation, the greatest since the ’70’s era Knick teams…and far better than them, by the way. During these playoffs they have made four very good to great teams look foolish, Miami just being the latest. The basketball “purists,” wherever they are, are surely smiling.
P.S.: If you had lived in a village where NBA games are not broadcast for the last few years, and just returned last week, you might think that Kawhi Leonard is better than LeBron James. As long as there is anything near equivalency between these two, the Heat are doomed.
V. Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey…
After seeing his smug mug so many times on TV when opposing the President, I can’t say I’m sorry to say Goodbye to Eric Cantor.
VI. Blowing In The Wind
How many more horrific school shooting incidents have to happen before we ramp up gun control measures?
VII. That Other Cup
Happy World Cup to soccer fans!