Tuesday, June 01, 2004

WHO UNLEASHED STEPHEN A. SMITH?: Who encouraged him--told him his schtick was funny? Somebody at ESPN must've told him something like that, something like, "Stephen, the rants are great, the numbers are up, keep doing what you've been doing." I guess they think what he does is at least different than the usual ESPN blandness they have when it's Greg Anthony and the two other guys whose names I can never remember. And Screamin' A. isn't bland, but he really looks like he's forcing it, trying to force a personality that isn't there. You can't exactly fault ESPN for trying but this stuff apparently really is lightning-in-a-bottle rare, which is why the TNT guys are the only ones who are really good at the guys in the studio talking sports thing. Possibly Chris Berman and T.J talking football as well; and of course PTI. But the Fox NFL guys are so painfully forced, with the guffawing and the paint-by-numbers making fun of each other. I don't care if it actually is unscripted, it still looks completely wooden on tv. The NFL on CBS is an attempt to replicate the alleged success of the NFL on Fox, so a fake version of something wooden is something wood-panelled and REALLY horrible, I guess. So, anyway, ESPN is turning to Stephen A. because they have no clue how to get something as good as the NBA on TNT, and yet they are painfully aware of how clumsy their guys look next to the EJ-Kenny-Charles holy triumvirate of basketball analysis. Charles is the abused all-too-human Son, EJ the Spirit and Kenny the Father by default, if you must know. Maybe that isn't the right metaphor.

Your random basketball thought of the day: Phil Jackson is the greatest one-dimensional coach of all time. He'll never change his system to fit his players, but he'll never coach a team that doesn't have players singularly great enough to power the triangle. You know what I mean? I just can't see him taking different sets of players to the playoffs multiple times, a la Larry Brown.

The Memorial Day drive meant I missed the Lakers beating the Wolves, which is fine. No cicadas were sighted in backwoods Virginia--apparently my brother and his wife live in some mystical calm within the cicada storm, as I could hear them in the distance but never had one land on me and creep me out like they're supposed to. I guess if you're a cicada once you see that true whose roots have been feeding you and everybody you know for the past seventeen years, there's not much of a need to seek new territory. This is useful but does not provide an exact answer to my question.

Meats consumed: steak, chicken, ground beef, hot dog. And Jimy Dean pure pork sausage, though that was for breakfast. Only two beers were consumed. I was driving. I'm a wuss.

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