Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Why Everyone In Pittsburgh Should Root For the Mavericks (and OMGZ, everyone loves Brady Quinn.)

I’m in a very good place right now. I’m halfway through a Veronica Mars Season Two episode on my laptop (zero drop-off from Season One, Kristen Bell is my favorite blonde on the face of this earth), I’m a third of the way through Freakanomics, which is absolutely fascinating and gives me a little more respect for the stuff economists can do, the NBA playoffs have been mind-blowingly good the last two weeks and Netflix has Traffic and Macgyver Season One laying on my bedroom desk, which I actually cleaned off and am now typing on.

Did I also mention that A) Joey gets back tonight, and we’re going to Niagara this weekend, where I’ve resigned myself to gambling a week’s paycheck at the 25 dollar blackjack tables in an attempt to win enough money to fly to both Phoenix and LA and B) I’ve gotten so disenchanted with leaving the house that I’ve only unpacked one pair of khaki shorts and I haven’t wore my watch since the day I left Notre Dame. If there was stuff to do, or I didn’t enjoy shooting hoops, perusing FreeDarko and reading High Fidelity as much as I did, I’m sure I’d do more. But again, Niagara this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited.


To get to the point, while you continue to settle into your summer positions and old bedrooms – or swanky new internships or summer programs in foreign cities, same difference – I want to urge you all to root like crazy for the Dallas Mavericks in this NBA postseason. You should be rooting for them anyway, if only because they eliminated the Spurs with a style of play that makes me realize what watching the Association in the 1980’s would have been like. But there are a multitude of other reasons, first and foremost being that if Mark Cuban’s team wins the title, he’s going to have a lot of trouble blowing it up and playing with it in the offseason. That means he’s going to need a new toy:

Your Pittsburgh Pirates.

(I won’t delve into too much boo-hooing about the current state of the Pirates, because they’re so awful they don’t deserve the HTML it would take up, but just a few interesting notes about esteemed Buccos GM Dave Littlefield:

1) When Jeromy Burnitz completed his season with the Cubs last year, their GM suggested perhaps he retire. Littlefield signed him to a six-million dollar contract.

2) In 2003, Littlefield let go Chris Young, who is helping the Padres with fantastic pitching numbers, Chris Shelton, who is partially responsible for the Detroit Tigers revival, and Jose Bautista, who we ended up getting back in a trade and is probably our best player at this point in time. He also tried to trade away Mike Gonzalez, our current closer who doesn’t suck that bad, but it fell through as a result of a failed physical.)

3) For some reason – name a reason – Jose Hernandez is still on the roster.

Anyway, Cuban is generally mocked for his Mavericks-related antics, be that bouncing around on the sidelines during games or calling out the officials in his blog, but I truly like Mark Cuban. If I was in his financial position, I would probably act exactly the same, only I’d have an entire closet full of designer suits and sunglasses, while Cuban refuses to wear a collared shirt and tie to work. If made a billionaire, I would immediately buy an NBA team, impose on it a fast-breaking, fun style of play and when they finally broke through and won the title, I’d buy my hometown baseball team that was struggling mightily and save the day for an entire city that is forced to get its sports jollies from watching local news coverage of Joey Porter and Big Ben soundbytes everyday.

Again, if you only want to root for the team that’s going to win the title, root for the Mavericks. The Spurs are the best team they’ll play the rest of this postseason. The Mavericks can do everything the Suns do, only they have more depth and defenders. They’ll run the Heat off the floor and with Rasheed’s ankle tweeked and the Detroit bench looking as bad as it does, I’d give them a pretty big advantage over the Pistons as well. Let Mark Cuban win this title, let David Stern have to hand the trophy over to his smiling face and let’s move on to PNC Park having some cash and talent infused into it.

Maybe I’m just dreaming – I’m probably just dreaming – but a Mavericks win might be just the thing that propels Senor Cuban to save our Buccos, and that, along with the much-written about return of SmallBall to the NBA, would be a fitting conclusion to this hoops season.


Looking ahead to Notre Dame football, BlueGraySky rounds up all of the Heisman hype for the esteemed Mister Brady Quinn, while we're either out of the top twenty-five or a top-two team over at Athlon. I'm still not sure if we deserve such a ranking, but since we're either going to earn it or be completely jettisoned from the position by the end of September, it's not overly important, and more for discussion than anything else. The season doesn't kick off for another three months, but what would the point of the Internet be if it wasn't for overwhelming hype for every aspect of culture all the time?

Since he left the Tar Heels as a junior, I'd say MJ still has a year of eligibility left. McKnight, Samardjiza, Grimes and Jordan?

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