I live in South Florida. I do not want the Miami Heat to win the national title. I am irritated that they’ve made it this far. Why? For a number of reasons. Well one short one and a really long one, both relating to my childhood.
1) Living in Florida as a young kid in the late 80s, when we got the first two Florida teams as NBA expansion teams, I lived in Central Florida. Thus, the Orlando Magic were a somewhat central theme to my childhood and adolescence. I really enjoyed watching them play the Lakers in the NBA Finals two years ago, despite the outcome. I learned that watching high stakes sports I was emotionally invested in was a huge motivational force to clean my apartment. More than ever. I was very sad to see the Magic fall so early this post-season.
2) Then there’s that whole Lebron deal. That guy sucks. Back to two years ago, I delighted in the fact that Dwight Howard had busted up the Kobe/Lebron battle that was supposed to be the NBA Finals that year. I hated Lebron then. I still hate him now.
The whole stacking the deck down here in Miami smacks of playground politics. I feel like I’m back in elementary school…
(insert crazy harp runs and wavy visuals that invariably indicate we’re going back in time)
ALSO THERE’S A POTENTIALLY NSFW PHOTO AFTER THE CUT, SO CLICK WITH CARE.
If you can imagine, when I was in elementary school, I was insanely competitive and not insanely athletically talented. I enjoyed sports and outdoor activities, but not really enough to compete outside of school. That probably put me at a disadvantage. Instead of heading to softball practice, I stayed in my room and listened to cassette tapes and wrote stories. And made up dance routines. And watched obscene amounts of Nickelodeon & MTV. My main social interaction was Girl Scouts. (I have now explained to you my entire personality development.)
Anyway. I was skinny, uncoordinated, and in elementary school, awkward beyond understanding, but I never backed down from a fight. And by fight I mean dodgeball tournament. I would trash talk from the sidelines. I would celebrate victory in ways that made other people uncomfortable. At times I was even a mean little nerd.
Despite the odds being against me generally speaking, just as in so much literature targeted at young teens, it did sometimes get worse. That was when all of the popular, athletically gifted kids would all gather together and get on one team just to wallop on the nerds. I think I’ve blocked my memories of these occurrences, but even then, I wouldn’t back down from a fight. Or kickball game. I do remember a bunch of boys thinking I was extremely bizarre for my unladylike competitive nature and therefore I had pretty much unrequited crushes until I was about 21. And my glasses, which were first prescribed to me in kindergarten, always got broken as a result of battle. And required tape to be functional. Which made me even nerdier. Whatever. I was never the initiator or the bully, but never backed down from a fight.
Fast forward about 17 years. The ostracized thing actually ended in middle school, as I became a member of the band and was pretty much socially set for life. The uncoordinated thing still exists, but I can play little ditties on a plethora of instruments so I hide it well. No one who can play drumset is uncoordinated, right? I’m getting married in November so the unrequited crushes thing has passed. I’m not that skinny anymore and regret that I didn’t make exercise more of a priority, particularly in my teen or college years. Geek regret.
But those popular playground kids are still there. And their names are D Wade, C Bosh, and L James. They all wanted to get on a team together and beat up the nerds that come from less schmancy or expensive cities than Miami. (Because seriously. All of the nerds who grow up, find their path, and relocate out of their small town don’t move to Miami. They move to Brooklyn, or Portland, or Chicago, or Austin. The ones who move to Miami are generally kind of lonely or unsatisfied and end up re-relocating to those places anyway.) Wade is the guy who’s pretty nice when you talk to him one-on-one, but when he’s around his jerk friend Lebron, he starts to act like a jerk, too. And Bosh is just overrated.
T-storm & I were watching the Finals with our friends the other night, who are mostly South Florida natives and big time Heat fans. And in game 3, when the Heat won by just 2 points, this weird German guy (who I’d never seen play before) named Dirk Nowitzki just made every damn shot he took. He dominated the entire 4th quarter, but his Mavs still lost. T-storm kept saying, “That guy is so weird and goofy looking, but he makes every single shot he takes.”
Apparently, in games 4 & 5, which didn’t match up with my bedtime, Nowitzki dominated even more. And Lebron did not perform up to standard. (Isn’t he supposed to be the clincher?) And I have to say that it’s pretty gratifying to watch. Tall, gangly, old (by NBA standards) nerdy guy, wiping the floor with that jerk who you hated in high school. And better yet? Nowitzki plays the saxophone. Band geek domination! Done and done. I’ve got someone to root for now.
If I no longer get the chance to root for Dwight “Look at How Nice My Teeth Are!” Howard, or Hedo “My Beard Is More Awesome Than the Rest of These Guys” Turkoglu, I am very happy to have Dirk “I’m Gonna Lay Some Glazunov on Ya” Nowitzki to pull for. Go Mavs!
And I waited to put this behind the cut for a good reason, too…
Yes, that is Dirk Nowitzki playing tenor sax (which he makes look tiny), with weird and super awkward posture but okay embouchure, and an inserted dream bubble of David Hasselhoff, posing nude, covered with wrinkly puppies. Thanks internet!