Why I Write The Way I Do

I’m a fan. An inveterate sports fan who watches NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL TV, and NFL Network. I have rooted for cursed sports teams. I understand that feeling of being a fan. More after the jump.

When you become a fan, especially one who DOESN’T root for the traditional powers in your chosen sport, the experience is a bit different. It’s a weird perfume of hope, fatalism, and faith.

This is not to imply, of course, that being a fan of the Lakers or Yankees or Steelers or Red Wings is easier. It’s to flat out say it. You lose a big game, it’s a heartbreaker but you live with it. You can understand it and bask in the warmth of your multiple championships and you learn to live with it.

But if you’re a fan of one of those innumerable teams who have never won a championship it’s different. You remember every painful loss, every time you thought this could be different only to be stabbed in the heart again. You, the fans remember Red Right 88 and the Drive I and II. You, the fans, remember Wide Right I and II and then Wide Left. You, the fans, remember Sid Bream being safe. You remember the Shot, and Reggie Miller scoring eight points in 9 seconds. You remember the Canadians doing it to you time and time again, and too many men on the ice by the Bruins.

That’s why I do what I do.

Because no one talks to you like you deserve to be talked to. Everyone assumes that you’re stupid, that you don’t care. The media treats you as though they can tell you anything and you’ll fall for it. But it’s not true is it? You know that Donovan McNabb is held to a higher standard, a different standard, merely because of the color of his skin. And the story with him will now, forever be, what he couldn’t do and instead will never focus on what he did. But you fans, the smart ones amongst you know differently. You were there. You saw it. The days when he was perfect. 

 I write the way I do because I remember the passion I had, and still have, for sports. I remember what it felt like to be waiting from 7 in the morning to 7 at night for that big playoff game. To be picked up after school by your dad and heading off to the stadium because it was the big playoff game everyone had talked about, and you needed to be there. Because the Celtics were coming, and maybe if you yelled loud enough, Dominique, Dr. J or Isiah could beat them when you were there.

That’s why I do what I do. And thank you for letting me do it.

19 Responses to “Why I Write The Way I Do”

  1. Temple3 says:

    Okori:

    You da man.

    I just want to say — for the record — that the Steelers did have a 25-year run without a Super Bowl win. They didn’t have any 3 or 4 win seasons, but they didn’t make it over the top either. From 1980 to 2005, they came up empty (relatively speaking). Some of the most “painful” losses were at home in the AFC Championship Game (to San Diego, to Denver, to New England). The last five years have been a relative cake walk, but there have been disappointments, too.

    And, I’m a huge Florida State football fan. Those losses to Miami were gut-wrenching. I can definitely identify with what you’re talking about. I would never switch to rooting for the hated ‘Canes because they’re the hated ‘Canes…and that’s all there is to it.

    Good stuff O. You should put some hockey pieces up if you get a chance. I LOVE the game, but I just don’t have the time these days. Anything you can put up would be appreciated.

  2. Ron Glover says:

    @Temple, I love the ‘Noles too, there was a time where I actually believed that they would never beat Miami. I am glad that both are in the ACC now. Regardless of their records it always makes for good theatre.

  3. Miranda says:

    *raises hand slowly*…….I was a big Canes fan

    LOL…I re-watched the 30for30 on the Canes last night. Loved those teams!

  4. Temple3 says:

    Miranda, Miranda, Miranda!!

    :)

  5. Okori Wadsworth says:

    @temple3: could be worse. she could rep the Red Wings.

  6. Miranda says:

    Sorry! LOL…the only time I rooted against the Canes was the 92 Sugar Bowl – had to go with my state roots and cheer for the Tide.

  7. GrandNubian says:

    Raises hand in a hurry…..

    You know i’m down with the “U”! :-)

  8. Temple3 says:

    Miranda:

    That was a GREAT game. George Teague!!!

  9. Okori Wadsworth says:

    I’m gonna say something right now. And It’s gonna be unpopular.

    Chris Bosh needs to go to Bad Boys school.

  10. Ron Glover says:

    Gotta admit, I’ve always like the Red Wings since 7th grade, but I’m a Broad St. Bullies diehard.

    Scotty Bowman may be the greatest coach in the history of team sports.

  11. MODI says:

    had to bring up Reggie Miller… didn’t you!… and Greg Anthony was fouled… like Charles Smith was once fouled…

    Not unpopular Okori, but that just isn’t who Bosh is, so wht does everyone always want to change him? He still does and always has needed to be on a team next to a dirty work center or another power forward who can defend and block shots. His softness has always been magnified beacuse of the softness around him (see Colangelo’s brilliant frontline of Nesterovic-Bosh-Bargnani). The closest thing that he has ever received in Toronto was Reggie Evans for 10 minutes a game last year.

    Now his asset of scoring is duplicative on Miami, he plays next to Joel Anthony-Igauskis, and Haslem plays the same position. It is hard for me to come up with too many players over a 8 year period who have been such a victim of bad GMing. Be that as it may, I think that Miami would be better off to start Haslem and bring Bosh off the bench.

  12. Okori says:

    @MODI: All it is that people hyped Bosh like he belonged on the big 3. He never did. He is not a playoff-type low-post scorer.

    And if we’re gonna talk about absolutely heartbreaking postseason trips, let’s bring up the hawks of the 1980′s. That was such a good team. Only to be ripped to shreds by the celts. still hurts to this day.

  13. yashewa says:

    I think ohio has the worse luck when it comes to sports teams! http://www.lynnaluvers.com

  14. KevDog says:

    Loved the article.

    Gotta admit, being born in LA, and turning 16 the year Magic came to the Lakers has been one of the most fortunate things in my life.

    And now Stanford has the #6 team in college football too? Sweet!

    Since I’m now in the Mid West going to Laker games is now gonna be on the road Just ordered my Lakers/Pacers tickets last night!

    BTW, who was it that said the East was stronger than the West? I think someone said it and I agreed. Early returns disagree. Looks like the West is tops again.

  15. Origin says:

    @Modi – I agree with you comments about Bosh’s time in Toronto. Bosh is similar to KG in that he is light in the ass and needs a physical center next to him to help him rebound. This is exactly what Bynum was doing for Gasol last year against the Celtics. Bynum would eat up 2 defenders and allow Gasol to crash the boards offensively and defensively. Even though Riley made some great moves in the offseason he made a bad move in not trying to sign Shaq and a pg who can shoot. The Heat are getting killed on the boards this season. Shaq’s big body would have occupied at least 2 defenders and allowed Bosh to crash the boards.

    On the offensive end coach Spoelstra and his staff are doing a poor job. Now let me say that I have been rooting for Spoelstra ever since he became head coach. But the dude has to do better with his line up and how he calls the game. First in Toronto they ran Iso plays for Bosh on the right side of the court……….now in Miami he is lucky if they run an Iso for him 3 time in a game. For example lets take a look at Beasley who is playing well in Minn. Under Spoelstra offense they had Beasley stand in the corner and wait for a pass after Wade created. They rarely ran plays for him…….they treated him as though he was Haslem. Now in Minn they are running plays for him and letting him Iso on the wing.

    Another thing Joel Anthony should not have started he clogs the lane because he can’t shoot. So big men just camp in the paint. So this cuts down on the room for Bosh to operate whenever they run an Iso for him. Also Riley needs to get a point guard who can knock down a jumper. Arroyo is helping to clog the paint also and he serves no purpose. He can’t D up the starting pg and constantly misses open shots……so what is his worth out there. Thankfully Spoelstra has benched Anthony and is now starting Igauskis. Watching the game last night Igauskis was able to help spread the floor and create better spacing with his ability to knock down open jumpers. And if Bosh didn’t get 5 fouls he was on pace to get 20 and 10.

    What Spoelstra needs to do is look at some old Bulls tape and see how they got playerstouches. The Bulls ran the triangle but he can implement some of the ways they were able to get MJ, Pippen and Grant, Cartwright/Longley touches. Now Bosh is more talented then Horace and doesn’t have the post moves of Cartwright/Longley but you can get him his 5 or 6 touches to start the game out. During the Bulls run to start the 1st half and the 2nd half they would go into Cartwright/Longley to establish a presence in the paint. This is what the Heat should do with Bosh. He doesn’t have a KG type of post game, but he can post the smaller PF and take the bigger PFs off the dribble when a play is called for him. This will at least get Bosh going during the game.

    I think coach Spoelstra will figure it out and if he doesn’t well Riley will be happy to come down and coach these guys……….cause if this team doesn’t figure it out in the next month Spoelstra is gone.

  16. KevDog says:

    Orgin

    Doesn’t matter what Miami does. If they don’t make a trade, they cannot beat Boston in a 7 game series.

    Said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s LA/Boston again.

    MODI-DO you STILL think Floyd could beat Paq-Man? I think he’d get absolutely mauled.

  17. Origin says:

    Kevdog – I agree they can’t beat the Celtics they have no size.

    IMO the Celtics are the team to beat in the whole league………they have just too much depth at Center. These guys have Shaq, J. O’neal, the rookie from Turkey and Perkins coming back.

  18. KevDog says:

    Orgin

    The Celtics will be formidable, but I think the Lakers have them in 6 or 7.

    I say this because our key pieces are younger and we have more versatily at virtually every position.

    And with Shannon Brown stepping up his game, Kobe is only playing 33 mpg. That equals an energized deadly Kobe come June.

  19. Temple3 says:

    KevDog:

    I’m with you — and back to where I was 2 years ago (which means I’ve been wrong about the Finals two years in a row!!). Healthy Lakers beat healthy C’s in 6 or 7.

    I don’t like either O’Neal. It’ll be great to have big bodies that can give fouls and that may make the difference, but the talent of LA’s size is considerable.

Leave a Reply