Monday, June 15, 2009

¡Yo Soy Conando! and more Case of the Mondays


Finally…WE’RE BACK! More Mile High Musings – wait a minute. We need to change the subtitle of this thing. I mean, Case of the Mondays remains great, but Mile High Musings? I’m no longer in Denver! No more need for nostalgia. Hmmmm…what fits with Iowa?

(I swear to God, the next wisenheimer who makes a corn joke is getting 4,000 ears of corn shipped overnight to your front door. Grrrrr…)

Corn actually doesn’t work, since Davenport is extremely urban. No sign of corn anywhere. The Mississippi River’s right there, though. How about, Riverside Rants? That work for everybody? Good.

Now, without further adieu…a supersized pilot installment of Riverside Rants on a Monday that sees a parade of champions passing through during the past few weeks…

  • My dad and I had a conversation on, I wanna say it was Friday; the Lakers had just taken a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals and the Red Wings were about to battle the Penguins in one game, in Joe Louis Arena, for the Stanley Cup. My dad posed the interesting question: if you could take one and only one result to your liking based on rivalry (a Red Wings loss at home, or a complete Laker collapse), which would it be?
  • Interesting question, I think. And I’d love to hear input from other Colorado fans. Basically, you’re either harkening back to your good ol’ Avalanche-loving, “Red Wings Suck” days and stripping Detroit of a Cup on its home ice … or you’re making sure “The Rapist” is handed the most painful beating of his life in Games 5, 6 and 7 which would make a diehard Nuggets fan feel kinda, sort better in the end.
  • My dad’s take was hands down, take the Red Wings loss. I think he’s still more into the NHL than I am, so he loved seeing Denver’s most hated rival failing to win their fifth championship of the Colorado Avalanche era.
  • Me? I had to think for a minute, before agreeing with my dad. However, I had a different reason. Kobe is a psycho. He really is. And I mean that in a good way. He absolutely killed himself over the past two years – mainly, in the past 12 months since losing to Boston – to get that fourth ring and first post-Diesel ring.
  • If you’re a Nuggets fan, or Spurs fan, or Blazers/Jazz/Suns/Mavs/Rockets/Hornets fan, do you want ANY part of an even more pissed-off Kobe Bryant in 2009-10? I didn’t think so. Let Kobe soak in the completion of his quest, and now that he’s getting older – not to mention, that’s a whole lotta games he’s now logged in the last 24 months – there’s great opportunity for another Western Conference team to make the Finals next season.
  • (Psssst…Chauncey, are you listening? MAKE IT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR! Thank you.)

  • So anyway, speaking of the Lakers, congratulations to Los Angeles on your 15th. And to Phil Jackson on his tenth in 19 years – now THAT is an accomplishment.
  • But I’m morally obligated to complain about this somehow, so let’s talk about that ghastly postgame ceremony in which three different sequences were excruciating to watch, not from a I-hate-the-Lakers standpoint but from a why-is-this-completely-ad-libbed-I-think-I’ll-flip-to-TBS-to-watch-Mean-Girls-now standpoint…
  • Stuart Scott’s first interview upon the Lakers being presented the Larry O’Brien trophy was not Jerry Buss. It was Jerry’s son Joey – what kind of high-powered executive is named Joey? – whose attire (not just any polo shirt and jeans; it was an outfit that looked like it was 40 percent off at Kohl’s during Bonus Buys week in May) indicates he didn’t realize he was going to be accepting a world championship trophy on national television. Instead, he thought he was just gonna be backstage, draining free booze with attractive 24-year-old interns who were staring at the huge bulge in his pants.
  • (A bulge caused by a wallet filled with Daddy’s cash. Get your minds out of the gutter.)
  • Anyway…uhhh…okay, I’ll ask. Where’s Jerry? Why are we talking to his son, who nobody’s even heard of (not even Kobe or Pau)? Why can’t he shave his neck patch? Why was the answer to Stu Scott’s first question a long pause and then, “this one…means…a lot.”? (Thanks for the elaboration) And for god’s sake, if we can’t hear from the actual owner, why not his daughter, Jeanie Buss, who’s also dating Phil Jackson? Wouldn’t it have been great for Stu to kid around with her about dating PJ with some sort of lame sex pun or asking if this would be a good time for Phil to pop the question? That whole sequence was especially painful.
  • Then during Scott’s interview with Phil, that went well enough…right until the end, when Phil addressed his family, said “they mean so much to me and I can’t thank them enough” to clearly complete his answer. But Stu must have had a stroke or something, because he stared at Phil for THREE GOOD SECONDS, keeping the microphone in front of his face, not asking a follow-up question or turning it back to David Stern, forcing Phil to stammer out awkwardly, “thank you”. Hi, hello Stu? Earth to Stu? You’re on NATIONAL TELEVISION. Wake up.
  • And then, Stern brings up Bill Russell, apparently to assist him with presenting the MVP trophy to Kobe Bryant. Sounds like a real two-man job. Stern lists off all Bill Russell’s accolades, reminding the Magic crowd and L.A.’s fans of how successful the Celtics’ franchise has been (like anybody cares or wants to hear about that). After a long-winded introduction, Stern nods in Russell’s direction, and Russell goes to take the microphone and present Kobe with the trophy in his name. Except, inexplicably, Stern gives Russell the “psyche!” treatment, turning back to the crowd and saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Finals Most Valuable Player, Kobe Bryant!”, and the camera shows in on a stunned Russell, clapping politely but almost certainly thinking, “WTF? Is Stern clinically insane? Why’d I come down here? And where’s Kevin Garnett at? Shouldn’t I be giving him this trophy?”
  • What a weird postgame, post-championship ceremony. Well done, ABC and NBA. Take a bow.
  • Or don’t. Whatever.

  • Pau Gasol wears braces? I had no idea.
  • I still think Gasol’s nickname should be Garbage Man, for all the easy points he picks up for doing almost nothing. But I do not still think he’s overrated. He’s one of the top five big men in the league, no matter how he gets it done.

  • Saw the Hangover Saturday. Comic genius.
  • That is a spot-on representation of what every man aspires to with bachelor parties and Vegas-related shenanigans in general. The physical humor was great – but that’s kinda besides the point.
  • Hangover is an absolute quote machine, like Anchorman-level. I cannot WAIT to buy the DVD – which will certainly be Unrated and might come with 3D glasses, considering the direction of Hollywood – and start memorizing every line. Highly recommend the flick, if you haven’t caught it already.

  • How ‘bout them Rockies? Got a lil’ stat for you. Looked it up myself.
  • On June 15, 2007, the Rockies were right at .500, had a minus-24 run margin, and sat 5 games behind the Dodgers out of the National League wild card.
  • On June 15, 2009, the Rockies were one game under .500, had a plus-22 run margin, and sat 3.5 games behind the Giants out of the NL wild card.
  • The ’09 team was unwatchable on June 1. The ’07 team made the World Series.
  • All together now: I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.
  • Okay, I admit it. I did hurt myself jumping on the bandwagon. I’m not making any playoff declarations; I’m not even saying I’m going to watch them any more closely now…it’s not easy when you’re out of town like this. But at least they’re watchable now, and should the Dodgers drop off even a little bit – well, things might get interesting.

  • And now, our weekly News and Views (Andy Baggot, your check is in the mail)…
  • News: Jason Marquis pitches brilliantly for seven innings on Saturday, leaving with one earned run and a 3-1 lead. Manny Corpas enters in the eighth, surrenders a game-tying two-run jack, but finishes the inning and benefits from two Rockie runs in the bottom half of the inning. Corpas picks up the victory; Marquis gets squat.
  • Views: Please, MLB statnerds, PLEASE … can we do away with the silly won-loss rules for pitching? Like, really. I’d feel just as wronged if Johan Santana gave up 11 runs in two innings, only for the Mets to win (or lose) 17-15 and provide Santana with a no-decision.
  • We’ve got to create a new formula for win-loss: maybe it’s gotta be the team record when that guy pitches. Or perhaps it takes into consideration who was leading when the pitcher departed, which wouldn’t keep it as a “win-loss” record, but some other stat that judges how often a pitcher gives his team a chance to win the freaking ballgame.
  • If nothing else, please…no more shall a reliever be allowed to pick up a blown save AND a win in the same game like Corpas did. PERIOD. If a starting pitcher can throw four solid innings and be disallowed from being named the winner, then we can certainly create a rule that stops a reliever from blowing a lead – or, for that matter, allowing two or more runs in any circumstance – from becoming the pitcher of record during a victory because his teammates bailed him out.
  • And that’s my extended Riverside Rant of the day. Whew. Glad I could get that out.

  • Federer’s French Fourteen. The Swiss Slam. Roger and Pete just hangin’ out together, on the same line.
  • And yes, the victory is slightly hollow since Nadal didn’t meet Federer there in the final at Roland Garros. But as they say, you can only beat the guys on the other side of the net. It wasn’t like Roger went all college football on us and intentionally scheduled a patsy like Robin Soderling to roll over under all that pressure on Championship Sunday.
  • Should Nadal be unable to compete at Wimbledon, does that make things easier for Roger’s quest to break Sampras’ all-time mark in London? Sure it does. But is it automatic? Not even close. I think the likes of Novak Djokovic, the much-improved homeboy Andy Murray, and even a hot stringer like Andy Roddick (not to mention all the young talent like Del Potro, Tsonga, Ferrer, Gulbis, et al) might have something to say about that.
  • But anyways, well done to Federer. He deserves inner peace after having the French Open elude him all those years. Wimbledon should be terrifically fun.

  • As for the women’s side? Boy, when Maria and Ana are hurt/struggling and the Williams sisters go quietly in the early rounds, I just can’t bring myself to care. Sorry. Need more stud players outside that foursome.
  • For the avid tennis fan: buy this book. Now. And read it. Read it all. You can do it in a day. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Have a good one.



  1. Absolutely spot-on on the ridiculousness of that post-game ceremony. Apparently Jerry Buss had better places to be than watching his team win an NBA title.

    And The Hangover will be a DVD purchase for myself as well. Already seen it twice in theaters. And I assume you've heard that The Hangover 2 has been scheduled for release in 2011?

  2. hangover 2. aka the nuggets next season... Sheesh