Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"What's it like rooting for a total p*$#!?"

I want to start out by saying that every member of the Miami Heat has said something stupid that has made headlines. They are not excused for making dumb comments. They know good and well that there are reporters waiting anxiously for some sound bite or sentence fragement that will garner some attention. They have the full attention of the sports world which means most sports fans hear all of these remarks, or at least the most ridiculous ones. (see also Iverson, Allen "we talkin bout practice?") We then get to have heated, over the top debates about what kind of person they are. In most cases this wouldn't be fair but when you have a signing party at the arena in July and have a tv special, you get more scrutiny.

Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, on to the matter at hand. Two questions about The Heatles; Is Chris Bosh a pansy? and to quote Spike's question to me "What's it like rooting for a total p*$#!?"

Four years ago I was playing pick-up basketball with a bunch of friends from school. It was five on five, full court and indoors. Just a bunch of never-weres getting together and sweating it out. Three games into it, we had finally found balanced teams and it quickly became more competitive. The last game featured a pizza bet, with the losing team paying for the winners to go put any calories back on that we had managed to shed. With this kind of a reward comes more dedicated defense and rebounding, since those are the things that only require the one skill we had any amount of (hustle). Here is where this story becomes relevant.

Towards the end of the game I had the defensive assignment on the opposing point guard. He had hit a couple of long jumpers, and was slower than most, so I was playing up on him. Around the free throw line extended, a teammate of his set a screen on me. I decided to go under it and at the same time he decided that he would try and come off the screen with a drive to the basket. He changed his mind when he saw me go underneath and he pulled back. I stepped out on him as he tried to square up and reset. This resulted in him apparently tripping over himself and going to the ground. He lost the ball, which I picked up and took down to the other end for a basket. Upon my return to the other end of the court I saw everyone standing around him on the ground. The was holding his kneee and cursing about his knee. When I came into view, the curses were then directed at me. I was a no-good-fill-in-the-blank who had pushed him over when I knew he had bad knees. Neither accusation was true, but nobody else saw what had happened and I was now the bad guy.

He tried to get up and walk it off but it was apparent that something more than a sprain had happened. We would later find out that his surgically repaired knee had failed and he tore his ACL. We went from being freinds at school to him ignoring me and blaming me for his injury. I had no response. I was sorry he had gotten hurt, but I hadn't done anything wrong. He was playing basketball, a potentially rough sport, and wasn't wearing his requisit knee brace. He tried to push the blame onto me or get me to cover some of his medical expenses. How do I respond to that? I was as kind as I could afford, but unfortunately I felt no responsibility and all he got was a couple of lunches out of me.

Now this is a round about way to getting at the question at hand. Is Chris Bosh a soft, whining pansy? Well I was in the shoes of Omer Asik, getting blamed for an injury. How did I feel? Was it justified? I understood that he was mad and that he would incur some expenses because of the injury. But I did feel wrongly accused. Could I have taken it a little easier? Of course. It was a pick-up game after all. Was this kid a pansy for blaming me? Never did that cross my mind. I did feel like he took the blame assignment too far. I think the same can be said of Chris Bosh. I am a homer, but I don't think he is truly worried that an ankle sprain will keep him from providing for his family. I think he said it out of frustration, in the same way my friend blamed me. It is a pansy thing to say, but I don't think Chris Bosh is a pansy.

So, what's it like rooting for a total p*$#!? Well, its pretty good when he is part of a team winning 21 out of 22 games. When they are on a 3 game skid, it gets a bit tougher. Its also easy to disregard anything stupid he might say since he is, at best, 3rd on the depth chart and maybe only 6th on my favorites depth chart. (In case you were wondering, my list goes Wade, Haslem, LeBron, House, Magloire, Bosh, Chalmers, etc.) If he was higher up on either depth chart, it might bother me quite a bit more. I do wish he was more of a "go to work and keep your mouth shut" kind of guy. But in the end, I don't really care that much when he says stupid things.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other guys doing stupid things that I get to be all worked up about.

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