To Be The Man

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The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
11 May 2015

I. Happy Mother’s Day

How time changes things…
Whenever my father and I would go to a Mets game my mother would call that day, as a result of our absence, “Mother’s Day.”
Now it’s my presence that creates Mother’s Day.

II. Incident

I know I’m not the only person – in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray – of the poem “Incident,” in which Countee Cullen writes of how a Baltimore utterance of the N-word became the only thing remembered of a time spent there. Now my sense is that no matter how many home runs the Orioles’ Adam Jones hits, or how many shouting matches he gets in with Jose Bautista – or if the Ravens go to the Super Bowl, for that matter – the only thing most will remember from Baltimore in 2015 is Freddie Gray.

III. Fight Of The Century

Well, maybe not, according to most analysis. I can’t say for myself, as I didn’t see anything but a few highlights. But what I can say is that in my humble opinion, both Manny and Floyd would have had a hard time getting a “W” against the 1980’s guys from their weight classes such as Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns.

As for Floyd’s “refusal” to give Pacquiao a rematch due to his being a “sore loser,” I wouldn’t buy that in the least. There’s probably little or no market for Floyd or Manny to fight anyone else – the state of boxing being that which it is – so my guess is that this is just part one of the hype towards “Fight of the Century” 2.

IV. To Be The Man…

If Ric Flair is correct in saying that to be the Man, you’ve got to beat the Man, then the Los Angeles Clippers are qualified to be champs after winning an unbelievably exciting seven game first-round series against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs – which naturally initiated the annual discussion about the end of the line for San Antonio. These discussions often remind me, in a sense, of Easter; the pundits keeping looking in the grave for the Spurs but find they’re not there. I suspect that will be the case again next year.

That series was so exciting that I feared it would make the remainder of the playoffs pale by comparison…but then came this Chicago Bulls-Cleveland Cavaliers consecutive buzzer-beater, two games apiece instant classic, as well as Washington’s Paul Pierce bringing the Truth back out with a buzzer-beater bank shot against Atlanta.

By the way, the reason I did not go out to see the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was that Game 7 of Clippers-Spurs was so thrilling that I was certain nothing that would happen in that ring could approach that, so I just went to bed.

V.  Five Thirty Eight

On the Five Thirty Eight blog (named for the number of total Electoral College votes), one of my daily reads during a presidential election season, statistical analyst Nate Silver called the New York Rangers the Spurs of the NHL because of their lack of reliance on superstars. The numbers may bear that out, but one difference between them is that the Spurs have won five championships since the Rangers’ “now I can die in peace” Stanley Cup win in 1994. The Rangers have played extremely well with their backs against the wall in recent series’ – including last night when they forced a Game 7 against Washington – but they need another Cup or so to really make this analogy work.

VI. It Is High…

I can’t take credit for this…My man Yeoman wrote that if the New York Yankees don’t want to give Alex Rodriguez his agreed-upon $6,000,000 bonus for reaching the 660 home run plateau of Willie Mays, would they give back the 2009 World Series? Great point!

What I can do is piggyback on that by saying that if their reason for withholding the bonus is A-Rod’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, perhaps they might want to turn in the 1999 and 2000 titles as well, considering their ace was Roger Clemens, he of the bat-throwing incident with Mike Piazza – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MhxMIpx5q3w – which some see as a possible example of “roid rage.”

VII. The Buck Stops Here

If you are certain that Tom Brady knew about the footballs being deflated, then you must be certain that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew something about “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

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