And so it begins, fan balloting for the all-star starters began yesterday and here we go again.
There’ll be all kinds of time for us to talk about who should be here and why or why not (I’m looking at you, Kobe) and what makes an all-star (yes, team success should basically be paramount) so let’s go another direction right off the bat:
Lowry’s absolutely deserving but maybe DeRozan is, too. Does management push one or the other as hard as they did last year? Do they stay out of it entirely? Do they find some subtle way to politic to make sure no one is offended?
I’d say stay right out of it, outside of nightly reminders that balloting is open and people should vote for deserving Raptors. I get that the game is here and hometown representation would be very nice but I think the organization as a whole might want to step back from the lengths it went to a year ago.
I’m not suggesting it necessarily fosters resentment among teammates because these guys are smart enough to know how the world of marketing goes but I bet it could tick off people around them and no one needs that.
And trust me, it happens. It’s been to the point where people close to players have wondered why there are so few of one replica jersey hanging in the stores and not so many of another. Sure, it’s childish and silly but it happens and doing anything that could possibly engender it isn’t worth it.
Off the top of my head, and saving a more detailed argument for my point for a day later on when I need it, I would say the latter would be more significant to a player.
But, whatever. You can vote, vote early, vote often and have fun.
So get those fingers working, go on over to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what’s going on.
Christmas and the mid-day flight to Milwaukee through Detroit so I can get to practice.
My disdain for the NFL is relatively new, at points in my callow youth I was a fan and, of course, given the geography and the TV options in the peninsula, I wavered between the Browns (Jim Brown, Frank Ryan) and the Bills (Jack Kemp, Paul Maguire) before settling on the Bills in the Jim Kelly era.
So that’s why I am truly interested the 30 For 30 documentary on that four Super Bowl team that’s airing this weekend, and which, after reading this story by SI’s Richard Deitsch, seems wonderfully compelling.
And given the tone and tenor of the piece, here’s my question to you:
Given your druthers, would you rather the team you support get close four times and never win The Big One or win it once and fade away for years and years?
Personally, I like the idea of sustained excellence, and the ride.
I think it reveals character traits in the principles that I admire: Surviving crushing losses to do it again, a grit and determination and the joy of the journey that’s hugely important in pro sports where there is only one ultimate “winner.”
That’s some heartwarming stuff right there.
Chris hit the tone well with today’s piece – it was Nothing But Net day in my life – and how the lads comport themselves against Milwaukee and Philly this weekend will be telling.
So, we shall see. But someone who’s watched them beat San Antonio and Cleveland and Atlanta and Oklahoma City and lose to New York, Denver and Sacramento and Utah was walking up the tunnel after the win over the Spurs on Wednesday and remarked:
Prophetic or a joke, we will find out.