The vast, horrifying power of the internet

Yesterday I received a couple of emails alerting me to an article published in the Washington Post. The article is about Allison Stokke, the sensation that has been tearing up the internet for the past month or so. Having already written a post in the immediate aftermath of my exposure to the withleather.com post that the article mentions, I must say the article caused me to have a pang of remorse. I felt kind of bad for her; she’s just a kid. She didn’t ask for all this attention. She’s not a random internet babe trying to make money off her looks, she just wants to pole vault and graduate high school. By all accounts, she’s a well adjusted, normal girl who’s justifiably freaked out about all the attention she’s been getting. Eli Saslow, who wrote the article for the Washington Post, chronicles her discomfort with suddenly being a celebrity who gets stared at when she goes out for coffee. (I’m sure getting stared at is nothing new for her, but when the starer is a stranger who knows your name and where you go to high school I’d imagine it’s a lot creepier.) It’s not fair to her and it’s obscuring her other talents.

 

It also occurred to me that this is pretty much a worst case scenario for a dad. Thousands and thousands of dudes looking at your daughter, searching for more info about her, I mean c’mon! I’d have an anger induced heart attack. Stop looking at her! Happily, I am not a father and have no daughters, hot pole vaulters or otherwise. But I feel for the guy. The article seems to imply that, as a defense attorney, her father is better equipped to deal with this situation than most. But really, what can he do? The pictures are out there, there’s no getting them back. I’m pretty sure even a defense attorney would have a hard time suing a guy for looking at a non-pornographic picture of a girl of legal age on his computer. He’d actually be better equipped to deal with this if he were, for example, a Marine sharpshooter or a champion ultimate fighter. You don’t mess with a girl when her dad’s a sniper. That’s just one of the lessons every guy learns growing up. I know I did.

 

The article, however, stops short of condemning the internet and Matt Ufford, author of withleather. Normally in this situation the blogger that gets trotted out is worked like a speedbag with heavy handed calls for morality and decorum. It’s to Saslow’s credit that he avoids this. One of his conclusions, as best as I can figure, is that there’s not really anything she can do to stop the internet from leering at her, so long as the leering remains legal. I happen to agree, despite the strain it puts on Ms. Stokke (through no fault of her own), that you can’t really blame the internet for something like this. You don’t blame a wolf when it hunts and you don’t blame a bomb when it explodes. Likewise, when pictures of a smoking hot athlete make the internet rounds that’s just the internet doing what it was made to do. Luckily for her, things change quickly in internet time and soon there’ll be something new delighting us all. The internet is a terrible machina, constantly requiring new grist to grind away at. While I feel bad for her, there’s very little that one person can do against the internet, especially in a case like this where the question is of taste and not of legality. You’d have an easier time turning back the tide than getting the internet to exhibit good taste.

 

In other news, I’d quickly like to make a birthday shoutout to my homegirl over at Make It, the coolest blogger around. I was going to refer to her as my “bottom bitch blogger” but, having just written an article about the lack of good taste and restraint on the internet, I decided that I’d go with something a little more neutral. In either event, I hope RiffeRaff has an awesome birthday, filled with adorable cakes and delightful presents.

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Published in: on May 30, 2007 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Update on Gates Ave. renaming vote

I ran down the essential bits in an earlier post and have received some more information on the proposed renaming of Gates Avenue. The vote, which was delayed earlier, is happening tomorrow, May 30. There are two rallies planned, information below:

Tuesday, May 29th at 6:30 pm

Antioch Baptist Church

826-828 Green Ave. (bet Lewis & Stuyvesant)

Wednesday, May 30 at 11:00 am

City Hall

Call (718) 398-1766 for more information.

On Monday, Mayor Bloomberg finally commented on the matter and spoke against the renaming saying “I think there’s probably nobody whose name I can come up with who less should have a street named after him in this city than Sonny Carson.” There is no doubt this is going to be a contentious vote, one that has seemingly already divided the City Council along racial lines. The outcome and resulting fallout is sure to be interesting, no matter what happens. If anyone out there has more information on the vote, please let me know and I’ll pass it along. I wish I could have gotten this posted sooner, but I didn’t know of this until recently.

Published in: on May 29, 2007 at 5:58 pm  Comments (1)  

Hulk Smash

hulk smash

I like comics. My need to apologize for this proclivity is probably unhealthy. Here’s a post on the topic that hopefully isn’t too riddled with apologist recriminations.

Marvel’s Civil War event put them in the news with Capt America’s death and Spider-Man’s public revelation of his secret identity. Civil War was based around a super hero registration program to get super heroes to work for the government, probably a metaphor for something about Bush’s presidency but that subtext became predictably confused. There were some definite flaws (besides the half-hearted metaphorical leanings), mostly Iron Man being a dick and frustration from the ultimate victory of the “bad” heroes over the “good” heroes. Now, World War Hulk is here, and hopefully it comes as a response to these frustrations.

red skull cap

I’ll give a quick rundown on the salient plot points leading up to WWH, so I don’t lose anyone who actually got this far. Skip a paragraph if you don’t care about this. Between House of M (another event that ended with the clichéd all powerful entity putting everything back to normal and erasing almost everyone’s memory) and Civil War, the Hulk was trapped in a spaceship and sent off to the depths of space by a secret group of the premier Marvel heroes, the Illuminati, because the Hulk caused too much mayhem. (and probably because he would have been a bit awkward in Civil War and Greg Pak, the current Hulk writer, wanted to make something different. Maybe, he didn’t like Civil War or something). They packed the Hulk’s spaceship/jail with a goodbye video message, so he would know who to kill if he got back home, I guess. This group broke up, largely due to Iron Man being a dick, and the members mostly hate each other now. While Civil War raged elsewhere, the Hulk’s ship crashed on an alien gladiator planet, where he killed some bad aliens, became king of the world and got married to his pregnant alien girlfriend. This was called Planet Hulk. Almost done with the backstory. At the end of Planet Hulk, the ship blew up killing Hulk’s friends and his pregnant wife (not really but whatever), and now the Hulk is rocketing toward earth stronger and madder than ever with some friends.

This setup is rather fun for a Hulk-centric crossover and has raised my hopes for Marvel. Hulk’s enemies are in disarray. The Civil War after-fighting continues, and no moment of cosmic justice has returned things to normal. WWH should change the tone of the Marvel universe and push the atmosphere closer to normal. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like there are too many minor characters pushing in to muck things up. Hulk has some supporters, who hopefully won’t take up too much story. Basically, it’s this super smart kid, Mastermind Excello (version two – no longer a golden age Commie spy), the always popular She-Hulk who had been working for SHIELD but found out that they helped the Illuminati send her cousin into space, and the Champions, who I don’t care to learn about. On the other side, Iron Man is head of SHIELD or possibly a naked metal woman, Dr. Strange is still rebelling against the government in the new Avengers with Spider-man, Luke Cage, etc., Black Bolt is leading the quiet life on the Moon, Mr. Fantastic is spying on everyone for Iron Man, Namor is under the sea, and Xavier is walking around on his own two legs.

hulk strong

A recent preview showed the beginning of the first fight against Black Bolt and it looks pretty good. The Hulk is big and green and impervious to everything. The story will hopefully continue as a series of fights. That’s all I want. I don’t care about the Hulk’s friends. Those guys’ days are numbered. I don’t care about hypothetical odds making. The Hulk’s next series will be called “The Strongest There Is” and that’s how Marvel should always think of the Hulk. All of the cosmic powers and other nonsense should stay largely out of Hulk stories. The Hulk has a power that is old and established enough that no one should question it much. The Hulk isn’t one of these new heroes that require constant rationalization of their powers as if the story is written with a Marvel encyclopedia article in mind. Anyway, I’ll conclude by saying that I hope the writers find a decent way to end this period of mental stability on the part of the Hulk. The Hulk needs instability.

Postscript. In lighter news, the new Action Comics has Superman fighting a character fueled by the power of a church’s faith.

god vs. superman
Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Greaney Panopticon

Few days are filled with unbridled possibility as Wednesday. I’m sure some of you agree with me, for a myriad of reasons. I, however, have one specific reason to love Wednesday. And this reason, as has been the case many, many times before, is a light that shines as a beacon to us all, Mr. TJ Greaney. Ah, Greaney. Two syllables that set my mind ablaze with phrases and moments. He is the author of a weekly column entitled “Exile on Main Street” for the Southeast Missourian. For the record, I find his columns consistently entertaining and always well written. I’m sure my blog writing cohort would agree with that assessment. (As a quick comparison, I find his columns about a thousand times more readable than Jay Mariotti‘s.) I’m sure a quick look at the past couple of weeks will do the trick for a few readers as well. So, in the service of TJ, join me in the panopticon!

TJ’s column from May 9th, Safety up, Privacy down is a real hoot. Vandalism downtown has led to calls for surveillance cameras to be installed and TJ takes a trip to see the system a neighboring city has. The problem is that, despite the good (crimes prevented/solved), there is a loss of privacy for everyone. Greaney throws in a reference to Foucault and his concept of a Panopticon, a prison where the prisoners are held by an all seeing guard. This is a heady reference, I don’t care what paper you’re reading. TJ expounds on the idea saying, quite correctly, that the police could find infractions committed by almost anyone given enough video. He compares this to the holding penalty in football, which is seldom called, though it occurs in some fashion on nearly every play. These two references are separated by a paragraph, but damn, TJ’s the best. Foucault and the holding penalty are two vastly different signifiers. Only a master weaver can think to combine such disparate elements and the finished tapestry is a sight to behold.

The column from the following week, however, is a serious downer. ‘Local girl says she’s out of options‘ is a typically horrific tale of a girl who made a couple bad choices, hit rock bottom and is now looking for a helping hand to get her life together. I’ve pruned out a lot of the chilling details. TJ gets a little Bob Greene-y towards the end, but nothing too bad. A good column. My interest was more piqued by the variety of comments left in the wake of the article’s posting. Greaney responds to a number of the suggestions, seeming concerned more with using the column as a means to get the girl some help than responding to the criticisms sent his way. gurusmom, who appears to be a regular commenter, opens coldly with “How about more facts and less human-interest here, TJ?” But that’s not even the worst of it. A commenter named owl really lowers the boom:

As a reader I have serious doubts about the validity of a story where the main source is not named. Of course I understand the nature of the danger this person may be in, that is if she even exists. This is tabloid stuff and degrades the Southeast Missourian by creating strong emotional responses. How do we know the reporter didn’t just make this up? It’s not like that hasn’t happened before.

Oh snap. TJ, to his credit, just ignores this one. But dang, that would get me riled up if I were him. He’s just trying to help this poor girl! Clearly anyone who would cast such aspersion towards TJ has never met him. The warm hearts continue to glow as becarefulwhatyouwishfor states “Each time I read the article, it sounds more and more like a scam.” I should mention that several of the responses suggested programs and housing options that the girl might qualify for and were assiduously followed by a response from TJ, thanking them for their time. The cynicism is pretty eye opening. I hardly think it will be enough to derail the Greaney Express.

And that’s just a couple of weeks. If you had told me when I met TJ (which, frighteningly, was almost SEVEN years ago) that one day he would be living in southeast Missouri and writing a man in the street column named after a Rolling Stones double album for the local paper I would have been shocked. Um, wait, that’s not true. That actually seems about right. Greaney’s entire archive (as far as I can tell) is available on the site and there are some gems hidden in there. Methinks Easy Mode might have a Greaney’s Greatest Hits Week, featuring the best of Greaney and hilarious Greaney bloopers. So click on over and have a read. You shan’t be disappointed.

Published in: on May 23, 2007 at 5:14 pm  Comments (1)  

Requiem and Terra Pax

Well, shoot.

It was probably clear from my earlier thoughts on the series that wasn’t a series but then became one but actually wasn’t; I was far from wholly optimistic. Game four went as I expected the close out game in the series to go, even if it took Detroit a couple of tries to get it right. Now I get to “enjoy” the spectacle of the Pistons beating the holy heck out of the Cavaliers. And I’m not being sarcastic with those quotes. I will enjoy watching Lebron and his gutless charges slowly ground down by the Pistons machine. Except for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. (Or, as his wikipedia page helpfully points out, the Lethal Lithuanian.) I’ve always liked him. There is something tragic about the talented big man with foot troubles. It gives his stony demeanor and slow paced movements a certain nobility. Nobody hears the clock ticking on their career like a big man with bad feet. History has shown time and time again that those feet will win. Not that I’m saying the Cavs are rallying around a ‘Win one for Big Z’ cry, they’re not. But for Zydrunas, his time is running down. After spending his second through fourth years in the league battling those feet, he’s been reasonably healthy since the start of the ’02 season. He made a couple of All Star games and has been paid an astounding 91.5 million over the course of his career. He’s been a member of the Cavaliers for longer than anyone on the team. Look at the roster from his rookie year! Their leading scorer was Shawn freaking Kemp! The team’s current GM was getting 15 minutes a night! Now, almost a decade later, his numbers are mostly unchanged and he’s gone from Shawn Kemp to a frightened 22 year old who chews his fingernails trying to be the future of the league. He’s a battleship, a relic of a different era in the NBA. Equipped with a great touch for a man his size, he’s comfortable both in the low post and spotted up at the top of the key. I enjoy watching the man play, because he’s one of the few that play that way anymore. But what can he do against the mighty Pistons?

But enough about the Pistons march to the Finals and their inevitable matchup with the Spurs, whose series with Utah will surely feature all the delicate subtlety of prison rape. I come not to enervate Lebron, but to celebrate the Bulls. I have long since left behind the pathetic fallacy of the close out loss as microcosm for the problem’s of a season on the whole. But in losing the series, lessons can be learned. I suppose any post-season assessments would be premature without knowing the lottery position they are set to inherit from the Knicks. Anyway, onto the notes:

– Loved the turn back the clock game from PJ Brown. 20 points in the first half! He made the Pistons pay attention to him, which is all you can ask from him. He gave the UC faithful some hope. I was never fond of him, going back to his days on the Riley Heat (Mark one, with Alonzo and Tim Hardaway), but this season gave me some grudging respect for the old guy. He seemed like he cared and played hard down the stretch. Maybe you want more for 8 million a year, but what can you do?

– The Bulls survived the season with a deficit of rebounders by subscribing to the concept of ‘team rebounding’. Everyone chips in and such. But when a team that’s bigger than you decides it wants those rebounds, they become a lot harder to get. It’s just easier to have a big guy to go down there and get them for you. The Pistons rebound well all around; it’s part of what makes them a good team. The Bulls are wise to emulate this, they just don’t have the stock of PF/C’s like the Pistons.

– Gordon was getting crushed. Everytime down the court, whoever he was guarding got first crack. I don’t know what can be done about this, but Ben’s got to do something to be able to handle big minutes on both ends of the court. Focus! Focus!

– I remember when Deng was a rookie. He looked like a skinny kid, but he played surprisingly well. In these playoffs I was struck by how much he’s matured. He’s really on top of his game. I adore the way he’s constantly moving, cutting to open spaces, looking for the ball. Sadly, this is likely related to the fact that he’s slow with the ball and isn’t the sort of player you can isolate on the wing and ask him to create. But you don’t average 19.5 and 8.5 in the playoffs against a team as good as the Pistons through sheer luck and hustle. He’s doing the right things and I can only hope his improvement continues.

My impressions of game six are somewhat hampered by the fact that I had a fever of 102 or so around game time and the fact that I spent the next three days asleep recovering. I’ll be back to posting my usual hilarious off the cuff remarks and whatnot this week. But now, without the Bulls, I’ll have to do without my favorite topic. The horror. Maybe another hot 18 year old pole vaulter will be discovered by the internet soon. That’d help.

Published in: on May 21, 2007 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Flagrant Foul

bowen

I can’t believe that I keep on delaying my musings on Marvel’s upcoming World War Hulk event to watch basketball clips. Fucking basketball, 82 games of boredom and they still sucker me in at the playoffs. That said, Bruce Bowen is a dirty player, who doesn’t hesitate to injure other players if he thinks he can get away with it. I feel a heady joy at seeing an underhanded player revealed as such. This joy is akin to the exquisite pleasure of watching skeptics disproving scam faith healers or the Daily Show mocking the hypocrisy of politicians. Justice may not be served, but at least you get rid of the wool over your eyes.

While this post probably isn’t news to people who care, it’s been coming up a lot recently, especially with similarities to the Horry/Nash incident. I don’t think that Horry is nearly as bad as Bowen. Horry committed a hard foul and Nash is a little guy so it looked even worse. Horry was probably frustrated and he sees the end of his career looming. I don’t know if Horry has a history of this or not, but he wasn’t trying to mask the foul and the scandal was really the NBA’s suspensions. (In defense of the NBA, the Suns’ suspensions were automatic and it was bound to be a no win situation.)

Contrastingly, Bowen is tripping people, stepping on their ankles, making low kicks, and acting as innocent as an Italian soccer player. Thankfully, someone has compiled a list of Bowen incidents with videos from YouTube. All praise to RyanUnderdown.com. You can look at all of the videos on one page or if the site goes down (it’s getting heavy traffic), I’ll post individual links.

Published in: on May 16, 2007 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

what now?

It feels like weeks ago that I had given up on this series. I even went so far as to start planning an end of the season evaluation of the team, but it turns out they’re still playing. The fact that it was a blowout was even more curious. I realize the Pistons are prone to well, not laziness, but complacency when spotted an advantage. It happened last year against the Cavs and it’s happening again this year. I really wouldn’t put too much stock in one blowout, though I am quite surprised the Bulls brought it like that at the Palace. Game 5 was not the first blowout of the series, however; every game thus far has had a margin of at least 19 one way or the other. Aside from the second half of game 3, the teams have spent very little time battling back and forth. One team is usually kicking the crap out of the other. Which makes me wonder, why? Such wild shifts in execution, in effectiveness have to be due to something. I set my fevered mind upon this question last night and, right now, still have nothing to show for it. Clearly starting Hinrich on Billups was important, as was getting Billups out of the game.

Notes:

– I swear, Ben Gordon falls down at least three times a game. Someone tell him to step on the Stickum pads before he checks in. Is there something I’m missing? He turns corners too quick, he goes down. He tries to stop himself too quickly, he goes down. He’s one unguarded midcourt collapse away from me assuming he has an inner ear disorder resulting in serious vertigo. Nice to see him finally get it going, even if it did take four games to do so.

– Great games from Hinrich and Deng. Luol has been the most consistent of the big three and continues his stellar play in this postseason. Kirk got his shot going tonight, made good decisions, the whole nine. Not much you can say about the two of them that isn’t obvious after a game like this.

– Nocioni has started to reveal himself in this series. While as little as two years ago he was my favorite player on the Bulls I’ve come to appreciate his deficiencies during this playoff run. Part of it is no doubt to his foot slowing him down, but he really tries to do too much. He freelances all the time on defense and makes far too many ill advised charges into the heart of the opponents defense. While I understand that this can be useful and indeed necessary at times, I’ve started to wish he would just cool it sometimes. I’m still happy he’s a Bull, but as the level of competition rises his shortcomings become more noticeable.

– I thought the rookies played well too. Thabo still strikes me as kind of lost out there on offense, but he’s a big body and a willing defender. If he can learn to run the offense as well as Duhon, we’d really have something. To be clear, I am not a Duhon fan, but at the risk of hurting grammar, he’s good at what he’s good at. Meaning, if all you need from Duhon is to handle the ball, avoid turnovers and hit the odd three, you’re fine. Chris Duhon can handle that. But when you ask him to guard Billups and make plays on offense on the road during the playoffs, you’re less likely to see him succeed. Thabo can’t be trusted with the ball in his hands, at least for an extended period. During the playoffs I’ve noticed several possessions where he gets the ball then starts visibly thinking about what he should do with it. Pass? Dribble? Shoot? The result of this is usually a thrown up shot less than two feet from where he started. But on defense, he’s ready. He played some good minutes on Rip, which is crucial because it saves one of the more offensively savvy players from having to do it. Tyrus did his usual jump out of the gym, ‘how the hell did he block that?’ routine. He also showed a little maturity when he decided to lay in the ball when completely unguarded in the waning seconds of the game. He blew the layup, but it’s nice to see something like that.

So, do I think the Bulls can complete the Greatest Comeback in NBA Playoff History? Well, yes and no. I’m still kind of shocked they went into the Palace and demolished the Pistons. That proved to me that they don’t think the series is over and that they’re not afraid of Detroit. The Pistons, however, have proved earlier in the series that they aren’t exactly afraid of the Bulls or playing on the road either. It’s a tempting trap for me, as a fan, to fall into. Game six at the friendly confines of the United Center seems like a win, right? And then it’s game seven and anything can happen in one game. I don’t know. I’m very conflicted. Do I think that the Bulls CAN pull this off? Yes, I do. They have the talent and the mental fortitude to win the next two games. Will they? That is what I’m not so sure about. I doubt Billups is going to stay in foul trouble for the next two. Still, I remain cautiously optimistic.

I’ll leave you with this parting “shot”….

Published in: on May 16, 2007 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

viral infections

I meant to do a whole bunch of posting during the weekend, but I’ve become quite ill and haven’t been on the ball. It was nice to watch the Bulls win on Sunday, but my optimism regarding the rest of the series remains low. Nevertheless, I’ll be watching tonight as they attempt chapter two of ‘The Greatest Comeback in NBA Playoff History’.

Anyway, in lieu of my hilarious and poignant commentary I’ve included a slew of links:

Celebrity DJ’s? Socialite DJ’s? Whatever the hell you call them they’re officially a trend.

Village Voice profile on Lil Mama. She’s the coolest.

Clublife blog. One angry bouncer in Chelsea.

Ever wanted to listen to really obscure 78’s, but didn’t have the equipment to take them with you on the subway? Put your fears to rest.

When you play a practical joke, you first must consider the physical and emotional fallout of said joke to the victims before you proceed. Especially when the victims are a vast swath of the midwest and you’re Rick Ankiel.

I’ve watched literally hundreds of NBA games and managed to keep my composure throughout the balance of them, but Davis’ dunk made me jump up and scream ‘oh, baby!’ The video replay of the dunk will be a shining beacon to all those who accept its healing power. Much like the Human Highlight Reel’s, uh, highlight reel.

A talk with M.O.P.’s Billy Danze. Beware the rap/metal hybrid.

More to come tomorrow….

Published in: on May 15, 2007 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

I believe

Now, I admit that I’m hardly the most loyal fan of the Warriors. My favorite pieces of sports memorabilia growing up was my Eckersley rookie card and my dad’s basketball signed by all of the ’84 Lakers. (note: my allegiance to said team and the nba ended with Magic’s departure. on the other hand, my allegiance to dennis eckersley will never fade.) In my life, I’ve been to around twelve Warriors games, probably only three in the last ten years. So, I’m not claiming anything in regard to the current awesomeness springing forth from the Oracle nee Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena. However, living in the bay area it’s hard not to get behind them at a time like this and with Nellie back at the helm. Especially with Baron Davis pulling shit like this…

Published in: on May 13, 2007 at 7:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Well hell

Son of a gun. For better or worse, game three proved what I was worried about. Namely, that the Bulls just can’t hang with a motivated, elite NBA team. The Pistons took the best shot that the Bulls had and weathered the storm. When the third started the Bulls merely had to play even with Detroit, but as their veterans got them back into the game the Bulls noticeably tightened up. The fourth quarter was mostly Nocioni forcing shots (which I’m not going to criticize him for because everyone else looked terrified of shooting) and sending the ball down to PJ. In most instances it was the “correct” play, as the Pistons were leaving him more open than anyone else of the floor, but come on. Deng took a three in the final seconds, which I can’t remember seeing him do all year. Matt from Blogabull seems to advocate a harsh evaluation of what the Bulls have in their core, but I’m feeling a little more forgiving. I do, however, think that the odd man out right now is Ben Gordon. His skill set is the most easily replaced, and he has yet to find the sort of consistency that an elite scorer in the NBA needs. But I’ll save this line of thinking for when the offseason officially begins for the Bulls.

The Bulls just aren’t on the same level as the Pistons, which is in some ways more comforting than other memorable Bulls playoff flameouts. The ’94 team should have advanced, but didn’t. The ’95 team could have advanced, but was in too much disarray. This year is different. They’re good enough to crush Miami, but it’s all they can do to avoid a sweep on Sunday.

Anyway, I’d like to spend a little time on this painfully stupid revisionist history of the rivalry between the Bad Boys and the young Jordan Bulls. And for the record, I do think they’re an overlooked group. What would Amare say if instead of Bruce Bowen he was dealing with Laimbeer, Rodman and Rick Mahorn? He’d probably be crying. I also think that the Bulls did their share of whining about the tough guy stuff the Pistons would pull. But the statements that”the Bad Boys are bad for basketball” was eventually shown to be true. The push and grab style of defense became so prevalent in the NBA that by the end of the 90’s it had turned the NBA into a league where you’d see scores of 76-73 on the regular. Part of this was due to the fact that the Bad Boys had as much success as anyone at slowing down Jordan and, in the East, if you wanted to get to the finals you’d have to go through Chicago at some point. Riley set up his defensive system twice, in New York and Miami and Jeff Van Gundy made the slow it down game into an artform after Riley had left New York. Larry Brown got two teams to the finals based on these principles. It took years and rule changes for the running game to come back into vogue. Ugly basketball, based on restricting movement and treating every possession like the last. I’d much rather watch Golden State score 120, thanks.

Another hilarious part is when it’s claimed that the Pistons didn’t take things personally, keeping everything on the court. Bullshit. Cheapshots are personal. You’re not trying to help your team when you try to hurt someone. Ending someone’s livelihood is personal. And being incited by some offhand trash talking? That kind of response isn’t ever acceptable. It’s as if Rodman never had anyone talk shit to him on the court.

Most of the article is devoted to complaining that the Pistons never got the sort of respect that the Celtics got, an issue I don’t know about and don’t care about. Apparently the Celtics (McHale excepted) staged a walkoff when the Pistons finally got their number. I’ve never heard this before and, again, have no idea if it’s true. But it doesn’t excuse the Pistons walkoff. That was a classless act by a classless group.

That’s all in the past, however. Twenty years later and the Bulls are once again a young team trying to find themselves and the Pistons are once again the elder champs. I really do hope that they keep up this intensity for the rest of the playoffs because they’re a fun team to watch. If I coached a PeeWee league team I would make them watch footage of Billups closing out and playing tough, physical defense without fouling. At the very least I hope the Bulls can keep them from closing out the sweep at the United Center but, everyone being aware that 3-0 is a death sentence, I imagine the teams will only play hard enough to make it appear hard fought. They’re on the right path. This series has made it obvious for the need to improve. Hopefully it lights a fire under them.

Published in: on May 11, 2007 at 6:18 pm  Comments (1)