Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Game Five

I'll admit it, I gave up on the Pistons. 24 hours ago I was going to sit down and write about everything I thought was wrong with the Pistons. I was ready to weigh in on all the hot talk radio topics, such as if the Pistons would re-sign Ben, how much is he worth, could Flip Saunders be fired after one disappointing playoff series, was their some kind of deep discord in the lockerroom, was this the end of a mini dynasty. But I couldn't do it, I couldn't write because it was too depressing to think that after tomorrow night the season would be over and next year Ben would come into Detroit with a Bulls jersey on. (Honorable mention for not being able to write that post: Battling German Measles, that's right I may be carrying a disease that was eradicated around the same time as Typhoid and diphtheria.) Now minutes after an exhilarating Game 5 victory for Detroit, a game where they finally looked like the PISTONS, I can't wait to watch every second of Game 6.........Except I'm going to be at the Tigers/Red Sox game Friday night. Shit. No, it'll be fun to be at Comerica to watch a rivalry between two of the original AL teams with my friend Kevin and his girlfriend. Wait, it won't, I'd rather be watching Game 6. Some quick observations.

1: My initial fears for tonight were put to rest when Rip was on TV before tipoff telling Jim Gray that the Pistons were like brothers and they wished it had stayed in house blah blah blah. Before seeing this I was expecting Rasheed to hang out at the 3 point line, pick up 4 quick half ass reach in fouls, be petulant and pissy, and get riled up and tossed from the game by the third quarter.......or in other words play like he had been for the first four games of the series. But after listening to Rip talk to Gray I knew they were going to play hard tonight and if someone did act out the other four wouldn't let it continue and/or destroy the team, and even though Rasheed didnt have a great game statistically he still played hard and was into it all the way through the end.

2: Biggest play of the night, hands down, far and away, was Tayshaun's 3 pointer with 2 seconds on the shot clock after Shaq blocked Hamilton's drive to the basket, giving the Pistons an 82-76 lead and effectively ending the Heat's threat to come back or tie it.

3: Remember when Ben Wallace was a four time Defensive Player of the Year and blocked two shots a game and altered countless others, well tonight was a throwback to those old......hang on a minute I need to check, no, that can't be right........He won it this year?!?! Now I remember, well thanks Ben for finally showing up and being a presence in the middle for the first time since killing Bogut/Magloire back in Round One. IF the Pistons come back and win this, Ben stuffing Shaq will go down as the series changing moment.

4: Is there a less sympathetic kidney transplant/debilitating disease survivor than Alonzo Mourning. It is amazing how much he has had to overcome to get back to playing professional basketball and I know he's an inspiration to many who suffer from similar illnesses, but is all that preening, machismo, and cheap shots necessary? Really? Is it o.k. to hate him or does that make me a bad person. I need someone to tell me these things.

5: Speaking of people coming back from career threatening injury/illness is anybody more motivated or focused to win a championship than Antonio McDyess. The man can be unstoppable especially when he's wide open from 12-15 feet on the baseline. He has to make at least 85% of those shots. (If he goes 1-10 on Friday night and you want to beat me up for jinxing him, don't worry because I'll already be doing it.)

6: In the game notes after the AP wrapup it says that the list of celebrities in attendance tonight were Kid Rock (really does he even count anymore, he was popular in 7 years ago, Fred Durst was working at the Lemon Chill stand and didnt get a mention), Niklas Lidstrom, Bob Seger, and Tom Izzo. Seriously if you were at this game and had appeared in anything, even a local commercial and didnt get mentioned, then your career is over.......I'm looking at you Sandra Bernhard.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Today I was fortunate enough to witness history unfold before my very eyes. In what will surely go down as one of the greatest days in the history of Detroit sports, I was in attendance with my family to watch Todd Jones pass Mike Henneman on the Tigers all-time saves list. With ESPN interrupting their programming to air this momentous occasion live, the stadium anxiously watched as Edwin Encarnacion stood only 90 feet from home with the imposing Javier Valenitin pinch hitting, striding to the plate with a chance to chance to alter the game with one swing of the bat, and make Jones pursuit of the hallowed record wait another day. The Game Seven of the Pistons-Cavs series, which in itself had a chance to define the Pistons legacy, cut short a phenomenal season, dash expectations and single handedly ruin my summer and plans to attend Hart Plaza in late June was a distant thought in the minds of the Tigers faithful. Oh hell forget it, I can't keep it up anymore, 90 percent of the crowd was watching the clock on the scoreboard hoping to get the hell out of Comerica before the Pistons tipped off at 3:30. This is not to take anything away from the Tigers game this afternoon, (it was a beautiful day and I had a blast), but there were clearly more pressing matters to attend to. Luckily Jones accommodated us, and got Valentin to harmlessly fly out.

After a close first half, the Pistons stifled the Cavs completely in the second half and the game was essentially over after the Pistons closed the third quarter on a run that stretched the lead to double digits and the Cavs never really threatened again. With the series closed out I'm going to go back to my favorite gimmick........Handing out grades for the series!

Ben Wallace: B-: His offense and free throw shooting was atrocious this series, even by his standards, capped by his 0-7 from the line in a must win game five. 0-7. Really? Severely retarded monkeys, like the one pictured to the right, could shoot 0-7 from the line. However as bad as Ben was offensively in this series, he still did the little things that help the Pistons win. He grabbed boards, kept loose balls alive, took charges, altered shots, and intimidated Zydrunas into becoming 7'3" jump shooting bitch in Game 4.

Rasheed Wallace: C+: I know he battled through an injury, but even at 10 percent Rasheed should still be capable of outplaying Rembrandt from "The Warriors". However, when he remembered who was trying to guard him he took him to the rim with ease.

Rasheed Wallace's humor: A++++++: Where do you begin, Another guaranteed victory, "Sunshine on a dog's ass", "Bananas yo", and the impeccable work from the always entertaining, namely Zydrunas and LeBron's future jobs.

Tayshaun Prince: A: I believe Tayshaun was the MVP of this series as he was the only consistent performer throughout the whole seven game series, and averaged 18 ppg along with solid rebounding and defense.

Rip: B: Hamilton seemed to struggle with his shot some this series, but even when it wasnt falling he did a good job of being aggressive and getting to the line, as exemplified by his 18 free throw attempts in Game 2. As the series went on it seems like he wasnt running as much and the offense grew a little stagnant, although that wasnt entirely his fault.

Chauncey: B-: Chauncey was uncharacteristically sloppy at times in this series, throwing lazy entry passes that were getting swiped from behind. It also seems as though he wasnt nearly as aggressive as he could have been, especially when little Damon Jones was guarding him. If Chauncey had really attacked he could have fouled Damon Jones' out in ten minutes. But it seemed as though he was content running pick and rolls, or dribbling for 16 seconds and hoisting a three.

Bench: A-: McDyess single handedly kept the Pistons in Game 5 with his fourth quarter scoring, and Lindsey Hunter provided his usual energy and defensive presence off the bench, even though the referees wouldnt let him get with 6 inches of LeBron, or even let LeBron push him to the ground without getting a foul.

Cleveland Cavs Beards: F-: LeBrons' neck beard was reprehensible and made me grow a strong disliking for him, along with his ridiculous scowl/whiny face. And whatever the hell that growth was on Zydrunas' face was frightening, the only thing I can think to compare it to, is those old Wooly Willy toys, its as if someone took all of the magnetic shavings from the top of his head and slid them down onto his chin, you can barely make him out in the top left corner of this photo.

Oh yeah Pistons beat the Heat in six.......Goodnight.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Where's Truby?

A week ago today I finished my FINAL law exam of the spring. During the last twenty minutes or so of the exam I was getting so excited thinking about the premise of being done with school for the summer that I was getting butterflies in my stomach. No more staying up for 24 hours cramming and then sleeping for the whole day, no more despondent phone calls to my family an hour before the exam after working myself into a frenzy over the fear that I might fail, no more class period. By the time I got home from my exam, I was literally shaking, I didnt know whether to scream, cry tears of joy, jump up onto the table and dance, or lay down and die. Unfortunately I came closer to the latter than anything else as for the past week I've been sick (think Strep Throat with more, really its as fun as it sounds), and all those butterflies I felt in my stomach was really the beginning of a virus coursing its way through my body. Sorry for the long introduction but I felt I owed it to my two regular readers who are not related to me and didnt know I was sick, and to Chris Truby who I imagine is Google-ing his name, killing time before he has to go open the Verizon Wireless kiosk at the Omaha Best Buy, waiting/hoping the Royals call because he's got to be better than D'Angelo Jiminez, and IF they call him it won't use up his prepaid minutes.

Anyways this is not going to be a Chris Truby hate post, because God knows there are many sites already devoted to that subject, almost all of which are better than mine. No, the brunt of this post is my fear that the Tigers will be overtaken by fairweather fans, if their winning ways continue, and fans who have been rained on for 13 years, experienced heart ache, the
wunderkind Randy Smith era, and a FREAKIN' 119 LOSS SEASON, will be left peering in through the wrought iron fence in right field, disheveled, with an unkempt red beard, grasping at people who come within an arms length, hoping to pull them close in as threatening a manner as possible and whispering in their ear "Tell me who George Lombard is?", before security leads me....I mean them, away for the third time this week.

I first got the idea for this post about fairweather fans when I was at a sports bar recently and noticed that the Tigers game was on the main television instead of the usual HeadLine news with the sound turned off. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoying the game when the guy sitting next to me turned to me and said, "Chris Shelton is really doing good for a first year player." I sat for a moment and then replied it was actually his third season and the guy slowly turned back towards me with a screw face on and slowly tilted his head to the left, as if I had just told him that the world was indeed flat. I felt all kinds of rage sweep over my body as I recognized this guy as the same type of person who probably drug out his teal Grant Hill jersey when the Pistons were in the Finals a couple of years ago, and asked when we drafted Chauncey Billups. Luckily for him and me Killer Queen came on over the jukebox and Freddy Mercury made me feel well........pleasant, like he always does, but I digress.

I've always been a hopelessly optimistic/delusional Tigers fan and my sister still reminds me of the time I fervently argued that the Tigers acquiring Mitch Meluskey, Roger Cedeno, and Chris Holt would be enough to put them over the top in the Central division (they went 56-106 instead.....close, only 39 games back), and this season was no different as
I predicted the Tigers would win 88 games and finish second in the Central. So far they have exceeded my own expectations and have the best record in baseball, (I cant believe I just typed that, I'm waiting for the earth to open up and swallow me whole). They havent been this good since 1993, when I was nine years old, wearing a Mt. Crushmore T-shirt with Fielder, Tettleton, Fryman, and the recently traded Rob Deer on it, and thinking I was the coolest fifth grader in the world because I got Ten by Pearly Jam for my Birthday. Had I known that it would be the last winning season and good Pearl Jam album until I was a grad student I would have cherished both a little more. However I remained a devout Tigers fan. I was there when Lou Whitaker showed up at the players meeting during the strike in a limo and white suit, complaining about being underpaid. I sat through the Buddy Bell, Larry Parrish, Phil Garner, and Luis Pujols eras. I was deceived into believing that Greg Gohr, Felipe Lira, Kimera Bartee and Cade Gaspar were "prospects". I watched the worst pitching staff of all time in the 1996 Tigers where Omar Olivares was our "Ace". I've ate enough Little Caesers Pizzas at Comerica to have heart problems as a 22 year old. I skipped my Prom to go to a Tigers game because it was Bobby Higginson bobble head night, (who said I couldn't get a date, huh, I'll fight you, what you've never been beat up by a guy who was crying before or something'?) I even went to 10 games during their 119 loss season, driving three hours round trip to watch Sir Gene Kingsale kick around balls in the outfield, watch a balding Kevin Witt be our power threat, watch Steve Avery's "comeback", and have Shane Halter and Dean Palmer call me and my friend T.J. "pussies" because we were jeering the team during warmups. I've seen crowds so sparse that people would routinely run across the field during late season games, just for some kind of excitement, I've been harassed by homeless guys carrying high heel shoes in a plastic bag after being one of only a hundred people or so with enough patience to stick around until the end of an extra inning loss. I and people of my ilk who have weathered the suckiness of this franchise deserve to be there when the Tigers finally get back on top and if I......I mean we, get shut out this fall I would recommend staying away from the fence in right, especially if you're wearing an ill fitting Cecil Fielder jersey that hasnt been worn in ten years, and saying things like, "this pitcher's pretty decent, what's his name again? Maroth. He's new right?"

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Today was my Constitutional Law exam and much to my chagrin there were no questions on my exam pertaining to Megaman 1-4, all of which I beat this week while "studying" for finals. Wayne State drags their final exams on fooooorrrreeeevvvver, nearly three weeks, which has prevented me from doing the thing I love 718th most.....updating this blog. Since I last posted many things have happened in Detroit, The Wings were eliminated from the playoffs (yawn), The Pistons have been steamrolling their way to another Finals appearance, The Tigers are continuing to prove they are for real, and the Lions had an uneventful draft, eschewing the chance to roll the dice and take a chance with another QB in Matt Leinart, and instead going with the safe pick in a concussion addled, undersized linebacker in Ernie Sims......ugh. And in other news Shawn Michaels and his tag team partner God, no not an overmuscled wrestler named God, but the celestial body himself lost a tagteam match to Shawn and Vince McMahon, and everyone who saw it died a little inside. Anyways now that I have a ton of free time on my hands with summer vacation and all, I'll be back to posting on a semi-regular basis.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Heading to Asia.......or Toronto, whichever's closer.

Property exam was a nightmare, and Ricky got a year long ban from the NFL, so it looks like its time for a vacation. I know this looks awful, but it was made at 4 A.M. and my brains fried. It's not like your paying for this anyways........