A little bit about me that might explain some things — I am Texas Longhorn-centric in most everything, except when it involves the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Mavericks.
I don’t like Texas A&M and I like the oklahoma sooners even less. Yes, “oklahoma” and “sooners” have been intentionally written in lower case. If they can spell my state name backwards, upside down or add a hilarious extra “s” at the end, I can show similar disdain with poor capitalization. Very petty and silly, I know, but take that, sooners!
I watch everything — football, baseball, basketball, soccer when those other sports aren’t on, etc… — and I am usually rooting for someone, or against someone, even if it doesn’t involve one of my three teams. Sometimes I have to invent reasons to root for someone, or against someone, but I will do it. And away we go!
As a judgy, juvenile, petty, take-things-way-too-seriously big mouth, you see my dilemma. Do I choose the team that I am forced to watch but don’t want to, or the team with player I love in a city I do not?
I am a Dallas Mavericks fan, as noted above, and I wear it and claim it proudly, but they are out of the play-offs. A topic for another time that I will get to.
The pressing matter now is who do I root for now my team is out? I’m in the vetting process for a temporary team.
I don’t like the fact the San Antonio Spurs are shoved down my throat here in Austin, and as a (2011 World Champion) Mavericks fan, it infuriates me that I can’t watch them night in and night out at my house without paying extra for it.
I have to watch the Rangers on QVC some nights while the Houston Astros are on FSN, but I can at least watch them at home. I don’t like your rules, NBA. I am not in San Antonio or the greater San Antonio area, so why not give me all three Texas teams? Or at least the two good ones? Just a thought.
What was I talking about? Oh, yes, since Dallas is out, I need a team. But who? Neither LA team will do. At all. And I’ll root for Texas A&M and homework on the weekends before I root for Miami.
Philadelphia, Boston and Indiana are just a circles on a map to me (since towns are circles on a map), although former Texas Longhorn Avery Bradley is playing for the Celtics.
That means it’s down to Oklahoma City and San Antonio. As I said, I don’t like the fact the Spurs are shoved in my face in Austin, but is that their fault? Of course it is. Kevin Durant and Royal Ivey, also former Texas Longhorns, are in Oklahoma City. I love Durant and want nothing but the best for him personally. Ivey, too. The problem is they are playing for Oklahoma City, which is the heart of darkness for the oklahoma sooners, who I dislike more than anything on the earth. I don’t want their fans to be happy (athletically speaking only, of course) and winning will make them happy.
As a judgy, juvenile, petty, take-things-way-too-seriously big mouth, you see my dilemma. Do I choose the team that I am forced to watch but don’t want to, or the team with player I love in a city I do not? When it’s the close, I have to go home state and take the Spurs. Cory Joseph, another Longhorn, is a Spur.
I guess I answered my own question. Spurs it is, but I am not happy about it. Apologies to my wife, who is rooting for Durant and the Thunder. Well, not really. She was for the Thunder last year against Dallas. Don’t tell her I said that.
Is there anything more ridiculous in sports than grounding out into “The Shift?” If you don’t know what the shift is, it’s when the infield moves the entire defense to the right side of second base, adding two extra fielders where the hitter might hit it.
Here is a shot of the shift:
Easy to spot, right? The premise behind the shift is the hitter, a left-hander who pulls the ball, is going to hit the ball towards right field where up to five players are waiting to make a play as opposed to left field where only two players are.
Two players left of second. Two. You and I see the extra fielders on the right and the GIANT open space on the left, right? Look at the image again. If we can see it, you know the hitter can see that, right? Right???
Common sense tells you to hit the ball the other way, doesn’t it? I mean TWO GUYS on the left side of second? And if you do go the other way, won’t the defense have to remove the shift the next time you come up for fear of you going the other way, opening up the right side for you? That all makes sense to me, yet players continually pull the ball on the ground, into the shift, and get thrown out at first. Why? Some of it is arrogance on the part of the hitter, but I think a lot of it is the defense having no faith in the hitter’s ability to go the other way.
If that’s true, it’s the closest thing in professional sports to the sandlot taunts of “Move in! Easy out! Move in! He can’t hit it!” to the kid who never hits the ball. It’s actually the same thing. “Move to the right! He can’t hit left! Move to the right! Easy out!” Don’t be easy outs, fellas. Unless you play for a team I don’t like.
I’ll be back with some college and pro football next week.