April 28th, 2011

ROYAL WEDDING TIME. I’m surprised at how easily I agreed to stay up all night watching this. In all honesty—no bullets here, please—I’m half-expecting to click it on and find a World Cup match. I’m not sure if that reflects poorly on my appreciation of soccer, proving it to be oh-so circumstantial, or has the makings of some dopishly advanced reading of major European cultural events, sports or otherwise. Also, as is fast becoming the theme of this blog, they all look the same.

Maybe I’m willing and eager because, if the stars align as expected, I will miss any and all live basketball tonight. We’re supposed to go to a screening of Cutter’s Way tonight, and while I should have time to squeeze in a thorough DVRevisit of Lakers/Hornets between homeless Jeff Bridges, late work, and royalty fixin’ to breed, it’s not the same. And frankly, after last night’s orgiastic full slate of playoff action, I don’t know if my basketball muscle can stretch any further. Sometimes I finish a book, slap it down on the nightstand, and immediately pick up another. At those moments, I am a total asshole who cares little for myself, others, or the fate of culture in this universe as anything more than disposable ironies or quips of information.

There is such a thing as basketball overdose—the NCAA shields us from it with its low-grade product, and the NBA rarely hits us this hard, this fast, with so many different compounds. These playoffs, though, aren’t just the best first round in years—they’re the only first round ever to, as a whole, warrant a blue ribbon. Am I mentally and physically prepared for what may be Chris Paul’s last stand, when his playoff showing has been mass theology (as compared to the Grizzlies materialist shake-and-shimmy)? Yesterday, we were treated to the young gunz Sixers winning the battle of style against Miami, and handing Mr. Moral Victory Doug Collins another emblem for his sash; the instant classic that many missed between the Spurs and Grizzlies; and Thunder/Nuggets rising up to meet its own promise, then obliterate that hope as Durant reminded us, you know, what he’s all about.

Maybe I’m lacking in fan fiber for not wanting to think too much about hoops today, but I could these accusations around: Overkill yields numbness, and once you lose those sensors, exactly what are you left with on the television screen?

A brief word about NBA-TV: One, I am fairly certain they used the Grizzlies feed on purpose. Bad as it is, there likely would have been a mass living-room riot if Sean Elliot had called that game. And, on the question of “Z-Bounds”—I had, in fact, watched the Grizz on League Pass, and yet somehow, that phrase never registered. Local broadcasts are supposed to be all uneven, warbling, and likely corny as fuck. When they’re shifted to NBA-TV during the regular season, maybe you raise an eyebrow, or giggle a little, but still, you understand them as provincial. Homers like Elliot or Heinsohn make me death, and yet really, what expectations do you have? Bringing them out into the harsh light of the playoffs, though, is really too much.

I suppose there is some good reason why the NBA can’t alter its national games without weeks and weeks of warning, and it likely involves rights and money—not just logistics. And I’m by no means a fan of the national crews. Still, it just looks foolish when a game that big, and that eagerly anticipated, is left in the hands of the “Z-Bound” guy. It’s charming, I guess, when the right team wins, but it only highlights how out of their league these local crews are—and how badly they stand out when the NBA enlists them, unwittingly, to take center stage. There, that’s my excuse for never noticing “Z-Bound” before last night. Or at least not retaining it.

  1. bethlehemshoals posted this