June 8, 2002

Technically, the series is not over, since the Lakers need to win four games, not just the first two. It is theoretically possible for New Jersey to win four of the next five games, including at least one in Staples. Shaq could break his foot. Cobi (er, Kobe) might get an other case of botulism (by the way, where was St. Ralph when the good people of Sactown tried to poison an opposing player; doesn't that shake the credibility and impartiality of sports?). Those things are all within the realm of possibility; its not like we're talking about traveling faster than the speed of light, or W. trying to act like a leader...
Some of you have told me that a number of links to the left are difficult to reach, or require a subscription. I may also link to stories in my posts that require same. You may have to go through some hoops, but this column is well worth it (by the way, the N.Y. Times does have a registration process to use its site, but its free). In the future, if you need to register, I'll let you know.

June 7, 2002

Some random notes on a long night's journey into day...

--There is nothing more depressing than watching a sunrise...from a bar. Unless you're watching the sunrise from a bar and rooting for Argentina.

--The most disappointing performance of the World Cup so far has to have been that of Jose Luis Chilavert this morning. I try to keep things clean on this site, in large part because all of you know that I'm funny, so I don't have to "work blue", but, god, what a fat fuck. This guy is supposed to be the best goalkeeper on the planet, and he looks like he's been working out with John Daly. Next time, try to stay away from the Shaq Packs...

--One way bars get around the "no drinking after 2 a.m." rule (or is it a law?) is by charging people an admission fee to get in. That way, its no longer a tavern, its a private club, and they can "give" drinks away. Nice trick. Your intrepid correspondent, of course, doesn't need to drink to have fun, especially since he has an 8:30 a.m court appearance, so a Java Junkie I am.

--The games tonight are stiffs (Brazil v. China? Slovenia v. S.Africa?), so I get the whole night to recover. Go Lakers !!!

June 6, 2002

My World Cup dedication will face a real challenge tonight as I venture out to see the three games, culminating with the 4:30 a.m. battle between Argentina and England. The upcoming weekend, with two Laker games and the Cup (World and Stanley), is increasingly emerging as a Vegas holiday, except without the speed.
Au revoir, France? Maybe, as the scoreless draw this morning with Uruguay puts them in a situation where they have to win by two or more goals over Denmark next week just to qualify for round 2.
A good article ripping the Administration's inept "war" on terrorism, and why it will probably happen again. By the way, we're coming up on the nine month anniversary of September 11, so any babies born in the next few days can always wonder about the sort of things that would get their parents aroused.
For those of you who are new to blog-reading, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from ones with the word "watch" in their title. Unless, of course, you don't generally concern yourself with accuracy.

June 5, 2002

Perhaps the best sign that the Lakers are going to put the Nets away early in this series was the demoralized attitudes of some of the Lakers after they won Game 1. Let's see, you move a game closer to a third straight title, the Nets are never in a position to take the lead after the four minute mark of the first quarter, the Nets pretty much gave up on doing anything to stop Shaq, and Rick Fox says he's still disappointed? Robert Horry is complaining that the team got complacent after jumping out to the huge lead? Hey, that's the great thing about leading by 23 in the second quarter: you can relax for prolonged stretches of the game, keeping Shaq rested and the bench active, and still not blow the game.
Well, NJ closed the half strong, which is a good omen for them/bad for us in the rest of the series.

At some point tonight (unless its happened already), an event will happen for the first time since Wes Parker did it in Game 4 of the 1966 World Series: a Harvard High man will play in a championship game. I would anticipate, in fact, that Jason Collins will see a lot of time in this series, if only because Todd MacCullough will likely be in constant foul trouble.
Why is it that I have a feeling this story is a hoax. I mean, Nader is pretty repugnant, but I can't believe he's involved with this. If the story is legitimate, why didn't the nation hear about the Green Party candidate's gambling problem during the last election.
I wish I could do this...some blogger managed to post something combining two of my favorite pastimes: basketball and W-bashing. Would that make Dick Cheney the CWeb of politics?
In the event you didn't stay up til 4:00 a.m., the big news this morning was the 3-2 victory by the U.S. over Portugal, one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Perhaps the biggest shock was how easily the Americans scored; offense has never been a strong suit, considering that the U.S. had been shut out in four of its last five World Cup games. The US scored three goals in the first thirty-three minutes, gave one back five minutes before the half, then after a period of sustained Portuguese pressure, allowed an own goal with twenty minutes to play. At that point, I thought we would see a collapse by the American team, and I began to fast forward the tape I was watching, hoping against hope that I wouldn't see a goal being scored at 78 rpm. Instead, nothing. The final minutes of the game revealed masterful ball handling by Kobe (er, Cobi) Jones, bleeding the clock away at the Portuguese end. The Germany-Eire game afterward was even better, with a tying goal being scored by the Irish literally in the last second. And we're still in the first week.

June 4, 2002

Read this article, and comprehend the notion that Gray Davis is not the nation's most heartless governor.
Matt C. writes:

With all the ill informed drivel coming from Storm and your ranting and raving about the one sport this fine country is smart enough never to be interested in, I can only ask what does any of this have to do with the Flyers?

It is understandable that there be some frustration when Smythesworld delves into topics that are of interest to me, but may have marginal interest to individual visitors. Of that, I am sorry, but this is, after all, my blog. As an astute and learned friend requested awhile back, maybe it would be a good idea to start a chatroom dedicated to Smythesworld, where you could go to actually complain with like-minded people. Truth be told, the only reason I even mentioned the Flyers at all in the past was that they remind of a good soccer team, in that they often score as many as one, maybe two goals per game. You're right about Storm, though.

June 3, 2002

For those following the World Cup, an excellent blog can be linked here. So far, the best games have involved the most unlikely match-ups: Paraguay-South Africa, Denmark-Uruguay and especially the epic battle between traditional rivals Brazil and Turkey this morning, a game marred by the single most inept officiating since, well, Games 5 and 6 of the Western Conference championship.
Anything I can post right now on Game 7 would be worthless to the point of banality. Give me a few years....

June 2, 2002

On two recent posts, a fellow Trojan writes:

You know, I have you all figured out. You secretly want and believe that the Lakers are going to win on Sunday. However, your pride won't let you admit it publicly. You have to save face just in case the Lakers lose. So, you post all this crap about the Kings winning and being the better team but I know you don't believe that. You ought to be a man and wear all the purple and yellow regalia that all the other Laker pansies wear. I am willing to bet that sale of Kings jerseys in La La Land will rival the sell of Lakers jersey WHEN the Kings win the championship. Your post is indicative of the wishy-washiness that makes up this town.

On another issue ...Why must we assume that because India and Pakistan have the ability to use nuclear arms that they will actually use them? It upsets me that the media is focused on these countries nuclear capability and have tacitly created this view that "those savages in the Middle East are going to destroy the world ... they don't know the rules of war ... they are not civilized in their approach to war." What the f***?! I mean what makes anyone think that the Pakistanis and Indians WANT the consequences of using nuclear weapons anymore than the rest of the world? Using nuclear weapons isn't the first option for either of these countries. It is baseless it think otherwise.

The United States does not have the right to scold or demonize other countries for having and/or wanting nuclear weapons because the US has led the charge to develop defense technology designed to dominate and destroy more so than to protect and advance peace. For example, even though US representatives signed an agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear arms, the US is in the process developing small-scale nuclear arms for the "common theater". I fear the United States' attempt to create an everyday use nuclear weapon that is good for all occasions more than I do these two bratty nations in the Middle East. Mind you, I am no history scholar but the US is the only country to use nuclear weapons and we are maybe the foremost country helping other democratic nations develop them. The world shouldn't fear an armed conflict between Pakistan and India. The world should fear the United States of America's historic development, use and sale of nuclear technology and weponary. The world should fear the contradictory messages that the United States of America sends when it comes to war, peace and a civilized society.

How can someone be so perceptive about basketball and write such piffle about the Indian subcontinent. Just kidding...your comments about the Lakers are piffle too. More seriously, while I agree whole-heartedly with your questioning the moral credibility of America when it comes to nuclear proliferation, I am less sanguine about the situation as it is developing between India and Pakistan, and what it is the U.S. can (or should) do. The entire reason India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons is each other; even more specifically, it is because of the Kashmir region. I'm just getting up to speed on this issue, but it is my understanding that India governs a significant portion of this area, which is predominantly Muslim (India, of course, is predominantly Hindu), a situation not unlike Israeli control over the West Bank and Gaza. "President" Musharraf (I use quotes because his election had all the credibility of W's) has been rattling his sabres, although he now calls the use of nuclear weapons "unthinkable". It isn't the fact that the U.S. has sufficient moral credibility to be an honest broker; it's the only candidate, short of the EU taking up responsibility.

Good letter, Storm, and inform your friends that its ok to e-mail their political views and honest disagreements with the site.

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