Monday, November 07, 2005

I Love this Game

Goofball here. The NBA season has started and, in theory, that should mean that Ozzie and I sit around watchin' a little ball together. Of course, in theory I could release a gold record and become a huge star in Japan, but in practice, it ain't happening. Why won't Ozzie and I be watchin' basketball together? Because the skin flint won't pony up for cable, that's why. I'd be perfectly happy to watch Sir Charles and Kenny banter about basketball on Thursday nights, but our abode in The Bend is sans TNT.

Now, long time readers might be asking themselves, "Self, isn't Ozzie the most hoopless of hoopsheads?" And you'd be right. The boy spends hours pouring over box scores. He exchanges lame emails singing the praises of his ninth round pick of Smush Parker in his fantasy basketball draft. Ozzie has had two recurring dreams in his life: one involved walking around his junior high school naked while sitting in a bath tub; and the other was that Tracy McGrady and Kevin Garnett were playing on the same team. The kid is obsessed and pathetic, but he won't bring it into the house saying it's like an alcoholic opening a bar. I keep trying to tell him, "Haven't you seen Cheers? Funny and charming stuff happens when an alcoholic opens a bar." But Ozzie ain't buyin' any, so I only get to watch a handful of basketball games.

Truth be known, I don't fully understand or appreciate the game of basketball. For starters, I'm three feet tall and have never exercised a day in my life. I don't know a "hand check" from a "rain check" and I don't really care. I suppose it is kind of novel to watch people sweat on TV. Usually producers go to great lengths to hide perspiration, but not the producers of the NBA. Do they douse the players during time outs? And placing an inflated cow hide through an iron ring doesn't hold my interest. Maybe it's because I identify more with the ball than the players. I dunno. Anywho, the point is that I watch basketball to hang out with Ozzie and not because I like the sport.

What I do like about the NBA are the players. Where else can you find a multi-millionaire who physically choked an employer turning down a $21 million three year contract sayin'
"Why would I want to help them win a title? They're not doing anything for me. I've got a lot at risk here. I've got my family to feed."

That is high comedy. How could it be topped? Well, suppose the player found himself unemployed next season because no team wanted to offer him even $1.5 million per year. THAT is what we call a rude wake up call by the invisible hand.
Seven million bucks
will buy many teddy bears
Hugs for the jobless
But my favorite player by far is Shaq. Like his game, my enthusiasm for Shaq can't be contained. First off, he dubbed himself the Big Aristotle. You really can't top that nickname. Big Hume? Nope. Super Spinoza? Huge Heidegger? Not even close. Big Aristotle or bust, baby.

Second off, he's big. He's comically big. Big shoes. Big hands. Big appetites. Big smile. BIG! He's a cartoon not an athlete. No wonder the Japanese were obsessed with him. Shaq is like a rim rattlin' Power Puff Girl. Well, maybe not, but you get the point.

Finally, the Big Aristotle says whacky stuff. When asked whether he visited the Parthenon during the Athens Olympics, he said "I can't really remember the names of the clubs we went to." Funny thing is, I bet there is a club called the Parthenon in Athens. But my all time favorite Shaq-ism is "My game is like the Pythagorean Theorem; no one has the answer." Not unless you're counting 8th grade geometry students, big fella.

Really, any sport starring the Big Aristotle has to have something going for it. I don't even mind that Shaq-fu sprained his ankle the other night. When he's not playing, the Diesel can spend even more time sitting around talking to reporters or making Nestle Crunch ads. He just makes me happy, alright?

Now, I wish Ozzie would get around to making me happy and get cable. How else is a bear gonna hang with his person?


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