Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’

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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Why We Do It

June 24, 2012

I use the term “we” loosely. As much as I hate to admit, I’m no longer an athlete. Unless throwing a dog toy in a game of fetch qualifies as a professional sport these days.

That being said, I do still have the mentality of an athlete when I watch my favorite teams play. So I can understand what’s going through most of their heads, just on a much smaller scale.

And this blog is therefore dedicated to the people that can’t understand. The people who never cared for sports. The ones who don’t realize what winning a championship actually means.

So why do we do it? Why do athletes dedicate days and months and years to becoming the most physically fit, knowledgeable, intimidating players in their respective sports, just for the chance to hold a shiny trophy amid a sea of confetti?

I wish I could tell you it was simply the desire to be the best. To conquer all, and stand on top as a member of the best team at (insert sport here) in the world. But there’s much more to it.

At every level of sport, your body and mind go through amazing transformations as you exhaust them all day, only to be put to rest at night and yanked awake in the morning for the same grueling routine.

And imagine being Ernie Banks. Or Charles Barkley. Barry Sanders. Guys who did it at the highest level, yet never had that ultimate glory of victory. Was it a lifetime of preparation and practice wasted?

Not even a little bit. While never winning the big one would surely be bittersweet, athletes thirst for the competition. They compete because they love playing their sport.

Being an athlete is essentially the same as being a singer, actor, writer, lawyer, executive – you strive to be great every day, oftentimes in competition with others. Monetary reward is fantastic, but in the end, in typical heartwarming fashion, everyone competes for the thrill and the self-fulfillment of a job well done.

Nothing exemplifies the way athletes feel about that pursuit of victory better than this slow-motion screen shot of LeBron James hugging the NBA Finals trophy for the first time. Finally. I don’t think anything will ever portray the feeling better.

For people dismissing LeBron and that “just one championship” don’t understand how much is put into winning that shiny golden ball. Everything described above, plus pitting himself against the best athletes in the world both mentally and physically, on the largest stage imaginable…and winning?

That is the epitome of victory, and it’s exactly why we play sports.

LeBron James: A Complex, Paradoxical Sports Oxymoron

June 9, 2012

Don’t let the title fool you. It’s all going to be okay. Yes, I do have a weird thirst for using the letter “x” in my descriptive verbage.

And yes, I’m about to reach farther for this comparison than Skip Bayless does for his own high school accolades: It’s only because LeBron is the X-Factor in tonight’s game! Hah!

Hey…laugh! I’m funny, okay?

Now that I’ve lost you, let me explain. There is a method to the madness of essentially titling my piece “LeBron James: Confusing.”

And it has nothing to do with his notorious disappearing acts at his teams’ most critical junctures in previous playoff appearances.

Instead, I’m going to talk a traditional mechanism employed by millions of housewives, girlfriends, fair weather and apathetic sports fans everywhere.

I’m talking about rooting for the “underdog,” also known as the team that isn’t favored by Vegas odds makers or “just seem like good guys” or are playing the Yankees.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a sucker for a good underdog story. I have a hard time rooting against the small market Rays in baseball, and George Mason’s 2009 Final Four run nearly brought me to my knees.

And there  is a certain allure to being labeled an “underdog,” that may actually spark a swell of confidence and self-belief and ultimately lead to a better game performance, possibly even an upset victory. But fact is, most teams who are favored to lose, well…lose.

My question is for all you LeBron haters out there. He is the epitome of a Goliath in this little David versus Goliath dream world you conjure up in every way imaginable.

But when so many root against him, doesn’t that completely, paradoxically, oxymoronically (I like this word so much that I made it up, raised it as my own, and will use it freely. Thank you.) turn the tables?

Doesn’t this make LeBron the underdog?

If it’s cliché to root for Goliath, but fully acceptable to root for the opponent who has been beaten, battered and bruised by hardship, can’t it go both ways?

That is, if LeBron is Goliath but falls into the beaten (has yet to win a title), battered (has shouldered the largest responsibility for both teams he’s been on) and bruised (absolutely destroyed by fans for The Decision to move to Miami) categories, isn’t he essentially David?

Told ya it would be complex.

Normally the story would end with David slaying Goliath. Yay! Everyone lives happily ever after, the last page of the story book depicts a sunny, rainbow and dolphin-filled picture almost as vomit-worthy as this, and little Jimmy goes to bed with a smile on his face (Apologies to any readers named Jimmy. It was the first name that came to mind.).

But when Goliath has been slain every time, and fans of David turn nasty (somebody get this kid spell check!) and grow in number at every one of the top dog’s failings – when do we start to feel bad for the big guy? 

And when it seems like nobody outside of Miami and a random spattering of a few fans are actually pulling for the Heat to win and King James to finally earn his crown, that puts all odds against him to succeed.

Maybe not statistically. But I’ll bet you a majority of people in America who know what a basketball is and have heard of this LeBron fella are rooting for him to crumble again.

And while you’re sitting smugly thinking about the prospects of telling everyone how you’re pulling for the underdog again, the joke is actually on you.

You’ve been so busy gloating and reveling in LeBron’s failures, that your own pungent hatred of the guy has blinded you. It’s not cool to root against LeBron anymore. He is the underdog.

Nobody believes in LeBron. Nobody roots for LeBron. Nobody likes LeBron. Except for the few of us who are hoping the real underdog pulls this one off.

The underdog who happens to be the best, richest most talented player in the pack. What an exceptionally complex, paradoxical sports oxymoron that turns out to be.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman. Comment below if you beg to differ!

And the Oscar Goes to…

February 27, 2012

…Angelina Jolie for her skeleton-in-a-dress outfit! Yay for jokes that are already old. But seriously, when did she go from being super hot to just kinda creepy-looking? Way to go, Brad.

I hate Mondays. We all do. While I was laying in bed this morning after being woken up by this glorious song (daily routine – try it, you’ll love it…money-back guarantee), I was brainstorming what to write for Jam Shots today. And by brainstorming, I mean my brain was starting like a car in the snow. Enough to keep me breathing, basically. And after I valiantly wrestled (and lost) with the idea of calling in sick to work due to exhaustion/Monday morning blues/nomotivation-itis, it dawned on me.

I can write an entertaining, sports-related blog that is timely because it is formatted after an awards show. And it will be fun and easy. Like I need Mondays to be. So, here goes:

Best Supporting Actor – LeBron James: I love the guy, and he’s the best athlete in the NBA, but let’s be real here. He’s not the go-to guy. Every player, coach and fan in the Miami Heat organization wants the ball in Dwyane Wade’s hands with the game on the line. I didn’t watch the NBA All-Star Game this weekend (nor the dunk contest…I was watching water boil instead. I found it much more exhilarating), but even Amish folk must have heard that LeBron passed up a game-winning shot with Kobe prodding him on.

Best Director – Davey Johnson: Okay, this is a completely unjustified selection. But so was Nick Nolte not winning best supporting actor for Warrior at the real Academy Awards. I don’t care that I haven’t seen the performances of the other four actors in that category. Good for that old dude for winning, but Nolte is old too. And he made me cry multiple times in that damn movie. Oh, right…Johnson. He’s the manager of the Washington Nationals. So this selection is based on my prediction that the Nats take home the N.L. East title this year. That’s an accomplishment that will undoubtedly win Johnson a Manager…er Director, of the Year award.

Best Actor – Kevin Durant: I’m just using simple logic here. The All-Star Game pits the best players in the game against each other. The MVP is the best player in a given league. If A + B = C, and B + C = A, then…oh, hell. I don’t know. But Durant took home the MVP honors in yesterday’s All-Star Game, therefore making him the best player in the NBA. It doesn’t exactly work like that, but he may be on track to lead the league’s best team to the NBA Finals. He’s going to be a front-runner for MVP and deservedly so. The Durantula is super fun to watch, and has an awesome nickname.

Best Picture – Moneyball Baseball: Yes, baseball in general. We’re fully into Spring Training. Which means we don’t have to pretend to care about the shortened NBA season or the Sharks lookin’ like a bunch of bums out on the ice. With the brief exception of March Madness, the next 8 months is all about the diamond. Fresh grass, sunflower seeds, incredibly uncomfortable jock protection, and fuzzy, green mascots. If we’re really talking films, take this into consideration. Some dude on Twitter last night during the Oscars had the balls to Tweet to Jermaine Dye that Moneyball was the best baseball movie ever made. I about fell out of my chair. I’m going to hunt that Tweeter down and shove a copy of The Natural (or The Sandlot. Or A League of Their Own. Or Field of Dreams. Or Bull Durham. Or The Rookie. Or Hardball, even. Get the point?) up his ass.

My version of the Oscars has four awards. Sorry I’m not sorry. And sorry it’s only men. I don’t know enough about women’s sports. But I presume Meryl Streep would be nominated in every category and I hope Octavia Spencer would win one of them, because her speech was awesome. Okay, bye now.

And On The Third Day, God Created Soccer

February 1, 2012

If you think watching Wayne Rooney or Lionel Messi weave through foot traffic and tuck a shot into the back of the net is pretty, you haven’t seen THIS. Oh my sweet Lanta. I’m tempted to just stop the blog on that glorious note. Or link every word to that video. But since I know my dedicated readers (that’s you, dummy!) would flip a female dog, I’ll continue on.

Without a doubt, that is the most epic goal I’ve seen in years. Everything came together perfectly to make that happen – planets aligning, gravity, wind chill, the length of the dude’s shorts. Everything, I tell you. Now comment below and tell me which scorpion move was better? That first one, or the original?

One thing is for sure. Blake Griffin’s dunk the other night on Kendrick Perkins was pretty filthy, but not even his best of the year. Everyone needs to calm down. I see LeBron throwing down cooler jams than that on a nightly basis. Call me when Griffin gets glorified for a real dunk. You know, like when his follow through actually allows his hand to touch the rim.

Is anyone else sick of me talking about basketball? Oh, thank God! I was beginning to go crazy. Wait. Sick? Basketball? Crazy? That can only mean one thing! The Bernie Fine scandal is back! But with a hilariously cougariffic twist. Here’s my disclaimer: I, Jamblinman, do not condone any activities in the following link; nor do I support the behavior of either party. Yet, both alleged parties were consenting adults and this is the gospel to MILF-hunters everywhere. If it bothers you, yell at me. Now, check it out. As those crazy kids today say, ROFL LOLOLZ! I’ll give you old folks a minute to figure that one out.

……

Time’s up!

Now for my last bit of business, this is something I rarely do. I will hardly ever be found verbally abusing Aaron Rodgers. He’s an incredible quarterback on a team I passionately hate, but he’s a good guy, a hard-working athlete and one of the most elite passers in the NFL. With all the mushy stuff out of the way, he needs to get a grip and take a chill pill. Just relax, Aaron! We don’t want you killing any politicians, now do we?

But yesterday, Rodgers was quoted as saying the following after the NFC’s Pro Bowl loss:

“I’ll be honest with you,” Rodgers said. “I was a little bit disappointed. I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves. […]

“I wanted to know the plays and I wanted to play well, and I wanted to give the fans a show, and make the Green Bay fans who watched and were watching for me and my teammates, I wanted to make them proud of their Pro Bowlers. I was just surprised that some of the guys either didn’t want to play or when they were in there didn’t put any effort into it.”

Umm, okay then, psycho! I understand his point of wanting to show off for the fans. But nobody wants to get hurt, especially in the least interesting all-star game in sports history. As they should, most guys were there to sleep off the aches and pains of a long season and take in the beautiful Hawaiian beaches.

I don’t know what Rodgers’ beef is with the teammates. No fans were watching anyway. I mean, give me a break. I can only think of one thing in the world that would be less interesting to watch than the freakin’ Pro Bowl. Actually, that’s kind of funny – and definitely has more views than last Sunday’s game.

As per normal, I leave you with the Weird Wednesday Web Story. Okay, so OMG BRB TTYL Ellen is on!!!

Skip Schumaker Is Less Than Or Equal To…

January 31, 2012

…A squirrel? Check out his baseball card for 2012. Honestly, the rally squirrel is definitely more recognizable than Skip, but that’s still kind of a slap in the face. Thanks a lot, Topps.

My real story today is about the most infuriating, terrifying cheerleader of all time. Which picture is less attractive? Hers, or the Georgia mascot’s? D’awwww who’s a good boy who’s a good boy?? Ah. Sorry. Puppies just kill me. Okay, fine. This isn’t my real story. But I had to squeeze it into the blog somehow.

Before I get to the real meat of the pork belly, let me tell you a couple of things. A couple of things that are in the news that me, you, your mother, her mother, your mother’s mother’s lover and Philip Rivers is sick and f*&!$in’ tired of hearing about. By the way, that picture of Rivers isn’t him going crazy from this mundane, repetitive news, although it fits perfectly with my theme here. Sadly, that’s just what he looks like. Yikes.

This. This. That. And This. Whoa, sorry. I don’t know how that last link got in there. I told you I had a crazy birthday weekend…Oh and did y’all hear?? Dwight wants to go to the Bulls now! The only things I want to end more than Dwight Howard trade rumors are high gas prices and that annoying squeak the leg of my desk makes when as much as a hair lands nearby.

Snap back to reality, whoop there goes gravity. Here’s what I really want to whine about. I’m a LeBron James fan. “The Decision,” was not his decision, and you haters will never make half as much in your lifetime for charity as LeBreezy made in one hour of self-indulgent TV time. So shut your yappers.

I bring this up because of him riding his bike to the Heat game yesterday, and how people were blowing up saying he was doing it to show off and get attention. Now the dude can’t even do something healthy and refreshing without being hated on. What’s next, King James breathes too much of us poor peoples’ oxygen? If you are one of these haters (which you are), please kindly shove your head up this guy’s sweaty bunghole.

Told ya I like LeBron. Defend him ’till I die! And here’s one more thing I missed. By like two weeks. That’s embarrassing. But even though the playoff will never happen because that would cost those precious execs their lunch money, I like that it’s being publicly acknowledged by important peeps. It gives me hope.

This guy, though? He’s got no hope. Diop missed that shot worse than this octo-baby misses a typical bone structure.  One last thing before I let you go. Congratulations to my good friend Lauren’s father, Scott Pruett, whose team placed sixth at the Daytona 24 over the weekend. That’s a lot of turning left in sweet-ass cars! Obligatory weekly racing reference, complete.

I leave you with volume two of the Tuesday Tweet of the Day. Fillmoe!


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