Posts Tagged ‘Klay Thompson’

The Art of Fair Weather Fandom

December 12, 2012

imageI know what you’re thinking: Jeremy, how would you know? You are the most hardcore, dedicated, handsome Dodgers and 49ers fan this side of Matt Kemp!

First of all, thank you. I agree. And yes – believe it or not, Dodgers star center fielder is a diehard 49ers fan.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about fair weather fandom. Take, for example, the fact that I “root” for the Seattle Sounders because my ex-girlfriend’s dad got me hammered drunk at the only game I’ve attended.

As far as I know, that’s the coolest soccer team in the country because of one very hazy experience I had.

Or let’s talk about the Indiana Pacers; Reggie Miller was my favorite NBA player growing up, so naturally, I rooted for the Pacers. It was weird, unique, different. And like a good little Jew, I loved three-pointers (It’s the SAME thing, for one more point! Why doesn’t everyone just shoot threes?).

We all know Reggie was the three-point master. And don’t mistake “fair weather” for “frontrunner.” Those are vastly different labels. I liked the Pacers, good or bad, because I thought they were cool.

I like the Sounders because the beer at their stadium does very interesting things to my body when taken in large quantities. Honestly, I have no idea if they are any good and I don’t care.

Being a “frontrunner” means you live near the Bay Area and didn’t know what a baseball looked like until 2010 when the local San Francisco Giants won their first World Series title. If you now root for them, wear their gear, and try to tell me why they are the best team around – you are a frontrunner. Once they regress, so does your fandom. And that year’s World Series champion will grace your clothing.

On the contrary, being a fair weather fan means you root for a team for whatever reason, but only pay attention when you feel like it. That’s how it goes for me with basketball. It’s a sport I mostly understand, but never really played and definitely can’t objectively analyze.

I’ve been a fair weather Warriors fan for years (very obvious example of not rooting for a first-place team), but luckily I don’t have to put my heart and soul into rooting for them. So all those tortured fans out there probably both hate and envy me.

Tonight, the Warriors beat the defending-champion Miami Heat and reigning-MVP LeBron James. I turned it on for the sheer idea of a distraction and because my alma mater’s pride and joy, Klay Thompson, now graces the Warriors’ front court.

Twenty seven points for Klay later, the Warriors were jumping up and down on the Miami home floor, celebrating a two-point victory and the continuation of a gritty, undefeated (so far) road trip.

I found myself leaping out of my seat when the final buzzer sounded – emotions usually reserved for a Vernon Davis touchdown or Clayton Kershaw anything.

And that is the art of fair weather fandom. If you can watch a team play a game and feel no personal connection to them, but still become emotionally moved by their performance, you can root for them.

Just admit that you are fair weather, and nobody will get hurt. Tonight, I admit to being a fair weather Warriors fan. For the rest of this season, I am officially declared as a supporter of the Dubs (see, I even have the lingo down!).

I mean, why not? Technically my favorite basketball team is 1-0 this year when I watch them play and as their biggest fan, I couldn’t be happier.

If you are a fair weather blogger, follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman!

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Deciding the Best MLB Rivalry

March 24, 2012

Hey. I’ve only got a minute. My buddy just got home from Africa and we’re watching Klay Thompson dominate for the Warriors and drinking beer. But I thought, let’s decide which of the three big rivalries in baseball is THE biggest.

I’m biased, but…when has that stopped me before?

So we know the three biggest rivalries are Giants/Dodgers, Yankees/Red Sox and Cubs/Cardinals. If you disagree, you’re absolutely insane. Anyway, here’s my order:

3. Cardinals vs. Cubs: This one has a sweet inter-division flair to it. The Cubs suck. The Cardinals are okay. Can you tell I don’t know anything about this rivalry? It doesn’t mean the actual battles between the two aren’t legendary. My Cardinals-fan girlfriend won’t even acknowledge that Cubs fans exist. Maybe she should be writing this blog…

2. Yankees vs. Red Sox: Oh, yeah. I did it. Of course this is one of the most historic rivalries in sports history. Babe Ruth, Bucky F*cking Dent, Curt Schilling…the list goes on and on. If you doubt this being an amazing rivalry, look no further than 2004. I showed up to the regular season game in 2005 at Fenway when Schilling returned from his ankle rehab (and unfortunately gave up the game-winning home run to A-Rod…). And let me tell you. Saying there is no love lost between those two teams is an understatement.

1. Dodgers vs. Giants: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I mean for God’s sake, a Giants player hit a Dodgers player in the head with a bat…IN A GAME! These teams and their fans absolutely hate each other. With a fiery passion. They have both won six World Series, both won 18 pennants and have an almost exactly even record against one another. The newest aspect of this rivalry is Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum, the two aces. All I’m gonna say as a humble Dodger fan, is that Kershaw (cough – the Cy Young winner last year – cough) went 4-0 against Lincecum in 2011. No biggie.

Well, there you have it. Comment below and let me know what you think. Until tomorrow!

Warriors Trade Monta Ellis to Bucks – Let’s Talk Hoops

March 14, 2012

I’m not going to pretend I’m a basketball expert. It’s my fourth favorite sport, followed closely by beer pong and curling, so you can imagine my knowledge level of the actual intricacies of the sport. But, I still watch it, follow it and enjoy it.

For example, I was one of the guys camping in the snow for hours days before Washington State basketball games in college. NCAA hoops are a little different, because you feel a certain loyalty to your team. But I don’t think being infused with school spirit is all that different from being full of Golden State Warrior pride.

Again, I’m a fair-weather fan. I like watching the Dubs play, but I mostly root for them because I live nearby. When they drafted Klay Thompson out of Washington State this year, things changed. My interest spiked and the losses started to hurt a little more, especially when Klay played poorly.

For the most part this season, Thompson has been studly. You could almost argue that he was the driving force behind a couple Warrior wins so far. Forget that he’s just a year younger than me; it’s like watching your first-born child having success – Klay was the pride and joy of Washington State basketball while I was there.

With that said, the only reason I love the trade Golden State made with Milwaukee last night is because Thompson should be getting more playing time. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how the trade benefits the Warriors, other than dumping Kwame Brown on another poor, unlucky, gullible team.

Can someone please explain why Warriors fans should be excited about getting a talented center who spends more time limping than breathing? Or why taking Stephen Jackson off the Bucks’ hands as a favor for the small price of $10 million makes any financial sense?

Is there anybody out there with a better knowledge of basketball who can comfort me on the fact that we won’t be seeing superstar Monta Ellis or up-and-comer Ekpe Udoh in a Dubs uni again? What exactly are the Warriors left with for this season’s frantic playoff push or to look forward to next season?

If Golden State doesn’t get one of the first seven picks in next year’s draft, they don’t HAVE a first-round pick. And at three games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, dealing with a significant roster downgrade, what is there to smile about? Somebody please answer these questions for me. I’m lost and confused.

Well, at least Klay will get some more play. He might hit a trey. Win the day. For Crimson and Gray. Oh, that was college. Nevermind. Fancy rhyme though, huh? See! I told you I was confused.

But now our best player is David Lee. And Steph Curry’s got game for days but can he even walk? We know Bogut is out for the rest of this season. And I’d imagine all Stephen Jackson will bring is a little toughness and a lot of divatude to a team that doesn’t tolerate such things.

So much for Mark Jackson’s playoff guarantee. It seems like this season is now headed for the shitter. Let’s just hope the shitter has one of those lucky seven picks involved in it.

I’ll stick with March Madness until the next NBA season. Oh. What? Washington State isn’t in? Damn it.

Oh, and I have a question for you NBA fans. Is THIS normal? How in the world are the Magic, or any team for that matter, willing to give a star player complete managerial control of an entire franchise, essentially? Sports are OUT OF CONTROL if that is the case.

And speaking of Dwight Howard, wasn’t the whole point of trading Monta to get D12? Desperation, folks. That’s how you end up sleeping with the chick with the missing teeth (Bogut) instead of the super hot bartender (Howard).

This is why I stick to baseball and football. Give me some roided up outfielders and head-hunting DBs any day. Because I have to, Go Warriors. Go Klay. Screw the NBA.

Please comment below – tell me why I should never talk basketball again. And if so inclined, teach me something. I’m ready to learn. I need clarity. Someone enlighten me!

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman and feel free to smack-tweet about sports all day. I have nothing better to do. Clearly. Until tomorrow, enjoy a panda attacking a pumpkin.

 

The Snub of All Snubs

February 18, 2012

I’ve talked snubbery many times on Jam Shots. From the Red Hot Chili Peppers omitting By the Way from their Greatest Hits album, to Klay Thompson not making the all-star game, to most of my pick-up lines at bars. But this new one takes snubbing to a completely new level. It’s like if the NBA’s anti-Monta Ellis committee hooked up with the writers who voted against Matt Kemp in the N.L. MVP balloting, and they had a child? That’s what this snub amounts to. Just stay with me here…

I looked over the Oscar nominees the other day. Conspicuously missing from the Best Actor category was a one Nick Nolte. You may remember him from The Prince of Tides…or more recently, The Hulk (don’t ask which one, I have no clue…they came out like 2 days apart).

This year, he starred in the film Warrior, which you’ve no doubt heard me drool over multiple times in this blog. And that’s because it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. And one of the most incredible acting performances I’ve ever seen.

I’m keeping this short tonight because people are panicking in the Fan Cave because half of us have been followed on Twitter by the Fan Cave account and half have not (I’m in the latter…dun dun dun!), and I’m currently chatting with many scared cavers.

Anyway, Moneyball was good. Brad Pitt was okay, but he was basically just playing his role from Inglorious Basterds, minus the uniform and Nazi-bashing. Same voice, same cluelessness. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m close to the Oakland situation that I thought it was just an average movie. But even rabid movie-goers can’t possibly think he was a great actor in that film.

I really can’t even explain how much of a travesty it is that Pitt is nominated for Best Actor and Nolte got the heave-ho. You need to watch Warrior as soon as possible and jump on the bandwagon. I’m all for starting a #Nolte4Oscars campaign.

Geez, this is really short. Sorry. And I just realized he is nominated. For best supporting actor. Which is also ridiculous. But it doesn’t hurt so bad anymore.

Goodnight, and wish me luck!

Week 1 – That’s a Wrap

February 16, 2012

Amidst the madness of today’s awesomeness, I nearly forgot about my little Jam Shots blog! I’m sorry, Jam Shots. I’ll buy you a beer later to make up for it. Week one of campaigning for my MLB Fan Cave spot is in the books. It literally felt like a month, as I’ve never spent so much time in front of a computer trying to advertise myself in such a short amount of time.

I feel like Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan, just pimping out my body almost against my will. I mean for God’s sake, I made THIS to get attention. I’m still unsatisfied with the media exposure I’ve received, although a Daily Evergreen article from Washington State University and a sweet blog from FanSided.com’s Lasorda’s Lair is definitely helping matters.

But I’m hoping to get either a TV or radio station, or at the very least a bigger news source to pick up my story. Who doesn’t want to talk to the brave, strikingly handsome young lad who’s daring to jump into the ring and gladiate against 49 other men and women? Okay, that was obviously a metaphor but thanks for mistaking me for Russell Crowe. I’m speaking more to the ability of yours truly to be a living, breathing, Dodger freak in Giants country. That’s the angle the FanSided blog takes, and I love it.

Speaking of that blog, they used a marketing tool I hadn’t thought of. Why in the world am I not ferociously trying to contact the actor who played Roger Dorn in Major League?! I don’t know…why don’t I drive a Maserati? Why did Chris Webber call timeout? Why did it take four sequels for the Fast and the Furious people to realize The Rock fist fighting Vin Diesel would be movie magic? Because all these people were STUPID. Like me.

But now, thanks to the blog, I’m all over that shit. I’m going to hunt down this man’s Twitter, his Facebook, his LinkedIn, his e-mail. Whatever it will take to get a public endorsement from one of the most memorable baseball characters in cinematic history. And my hash tag will henceforth be changed from #JamCave to #RogerDodger4Cave. Or something to that effect. It’s still in the works.

I have to tell you, this campaigning is damn tiring. I have tweeted over 600 times since this madness began last Wednesday, and the only time I go on Facebook is to advertise my plea for votes even more. I’m tired of staring at my goofy mug on the thumbnail of the video next to the VOTE button on the MLB Fan Cave website. I’m sure you are too, but you have to keep voting. Or else. If one good thing comes out of this crazy campaign scramble, it’s that I’m actually learning how to navigate LinkedIn. Granted, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Oh well. What can ya do?

Even if I feel more snubbed by the media than Klay Thompson, Monta Ellis and Brandon Rush for the NBA All-Star Game festivities (Psyche! That’s literally impossible…that’s a blopic for a different day), I’m going to keep pushing. Because just like the Jamaican bobsled team, I’ve got something to prove. And a race to win.

Keep voting for me in the MLB Fan Cave competition, follow me on Twitter @jamblinman and LIKE my Facebook page. And if you must, enjoy my incredibly embarrassing video. Much love – let’s win one for the Roger.

How About a Little Cougar Lovin’?

February 13, 2012

Yes, I am hoping that title attracts the bulk of 18-24 year old men to this blog. And it should. But for a different reason. I’m talking about my alma mater, Washington State University and our proudest sports product, Klay Thompson. The 11th overall pick in the NBA draft last year is having himself quite a rookie season. And people are finally starting to take notice.

Don’t ask me how this kid didn’t make the rookie-sophomore all-star game, or how he’s relatively unknown outside Pullman, WA and Oakland, CA. And definitely don’t ask Warriors coach Mark Jackson. After a slow start this season, all Thompson is doing in February is averaging 10 points per game off the bench. Not just any 10 though. He discovered his long-range stroke and is hitting treys like Chris Brown hits…nevermind. He’s on fire, is what I’m trying to say.

Thompson was arguably the biggest recruiting coup in Washington State basketball history. Hearing we would have the son of a former first overall pick suiting up got things buzzin’ in Pullman. And Klaymania got off to an early start, when He’s a freshmannnnnn became regular in Beasley Coliseum as Klay’s sweet stroke started enveloping the student section.

By his sophomore year, he was far and away the best player in crimson and gray on the court every single night. And by his junior year, he was dropping 40+ points in pre-season tournaments, averaging over 20 a game during conference play and on a short list of candidates to even get consideration for National Player of the Year awards. Yet he stayed relatively anonymous, staying away from the spotlight, patiently awaiting his name to eventually be called in last year’s June draft.

The day Thompson announced he was foregoing his senior season at WSU to jump to the NBA, it was honestly like a natural disaster had hit the campus. Our snowy little town of 30,000 people (22,000 students to give you a better idea…) might as well have just been hit by a deadly, contagious disease. Oh, wait that happened too. Anyway, nobody took the news of Thompson leaving harder than me. Sure, I was graduating but I still was looking forward to him leading my Cougs on a final NCAA run.

Then, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in June, I received an e-mail. Then another. And another. And finally one from my Mom with the press release attached: Warriors select Klay Thompson 11th overall in draft. As in the Golden State Warriors. As in the team that plays 25 minutes from my house. I was giddy. I ran down the halls of the ship looking for my fellow Cougs. I found them. And we celebrated this little stroke of luck.

Now that little stroke of luck is coasting on the big stroke of Thompson’s right arm. He’s quickly becoming one of the best overall rookies of the 2011 draft. He’s helping the Dubs stay afloat in their quest to return to the postseason. He’s trying to be a savior for a franchise which, save for 2006, has been a league doormat for years because of bad coaching, a lack of star power, and failed drafts.

But as Thompson continues to sink three’s and make pinpoint passes and play suffocating defense, Pullman and Oakland won’t be the only places noticing the gold mine the Warriors stumbled upon. Forget former Warrior Jeremy Lin and all his hype. Thompson is the real deal and he’s here to stay. I assure you, if his clutch, late-game heroics continue, the Warriors will find a way in eventually. And you’ll have a young, silent assassin to thank. Go Klay Thompson. And as always, Go Cougs.


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