Bird. McHale. Parrish.
Magic. Kareem. Worthy.
Jordan. Pippen. Rodman.
Duncan. Parker. Ginobili?
Something's amiss here. The Bulls, Celtics, Lakers and Spurs are now the only teams in league history to have won at least four NBA Championships. The first three seem legit. The fourth, well, there must be some kind of mistake. Maybe it's because San Antonio's first title came in a shortened season that was marred by a labor strike. Or maybe it's because Parker and Ginobli speak English by pronouncing every single syllable and vowel as if they were speaking their native languages of French and Italian, respectively. Or perhaps it's because Duncan doesn't speak at all. Whatever the reason, it's just so incredibly hard to put the Spurs in the elite class of teams that the basketball community, the world-over, views as dynasties. The truth, though, is they are a dynasty. Four titles in nine years with a likely fifth championship coming next season would close out an amazing decade-long run of dominance. There is something to be said for a team that plays hard, plays together and never sacrifices the good of the team for individual recognition. Still, the NBA is marketed as a league of stars and for a championship caliber team not to have at least one feels strange. Don't get me wrong because it's not bad. The Spurs are the anti-Kobes and it's cool. Cool, but a bit strange.
Speaking of Kobe, I couldn't sleep last night for a reason I'll soon explain. So, at three o'clock this morning I found myself channel surfing and guess what came on – a show called, "Stings, Fangs and Spines." The show was about medically treating snake bite victims from vicious attacks unleashed by the Black Mamba; a snake made famous by Kobe when he openly compared himself to the tireless reptile. I was tickled pink. I watched every second of the documentary because in a season where I've been all over Kobe, I couldn't have imagined a better way to close the book on it.
It's hard to say that anyone can ever replace Ashley Judd, but Eva Longoria is definitely giving the Kentucky Kutie a run for her money. To be fair to both, let's just say Eva is the Ashley Judd of the NBA and Ashley is the Eva Longoria of college hoops.
Speaking of attractive woman, U of A's own Amanda Beard is on the cover of an extremely popular men's magazine this month. Even for non-subscribers, this is one issue worth hiding from your wife in the downstairs closet behind the set of golf clubs you bought for her six years ago that have never been touched.
I had an interesting weekend at the 15th Annual Desert Disaster. For me, this year's tournament will forever be remembered as the one that got away. My team finished five strokes behind the leaders, which was frustrating because we collectively could not have struck the ball any better. My new Stack & Tilt Swing was absolutely money all day and held up extremely well in pressure situations. Our "C" player, Dollar Bill, was still in bed at 7:22 despite the 7:30 shotgun start, but once he arrived midway through our first hole he responded well to my crash course golf lesson. Our "D" player, Big Bobby R, also stepped up and had a couple shuttle launches off the tee box that kept giving us chances. The problem was our putting. In retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea that I and our "B" player polished off an entire bottle of Jack Daniel's during the round. I've never seen so many 10-foot birdie putts and 25-foot eagle putts burn the edges like they did Saturday.
I made some new friends over the weekend. While at the pool, I couldn't help but notice this one guy who had a pretty elaborate tattoo on his back that read, "Tillman." I have a friend Scott who has followed the Pat Tillman Story as close as anyone I know so I felt obligated to introduce myself so as to share the experience with Scotty later. Turns out the guy was Tillman's best friend and was one of the key speakers at Tillman's nationally televised funeral. Great guy. He then introduced me to one of his buddies (Keith) who graduated from the UA and as it turns out, is a regular reader of The Friday Fizz. It's indeed a small, small world.
I had the opportunity to catch up with an old high school friend this weekend as well who's now the head football coach at Junipero Serra HS in Southern California. He's spent some time with the Stoops brothers at several of UA's football mini-camps and reiterates what many of us already know – Apaiata Tuihalamaka is an absolute stud who's going to wreak havoc on opposing Pac-10 offenses for years to come.
Bring on BYU as the opening kick off in Provo, Utah is now just 78 days away.
It looks like the Yankees aren't exactly ready to mail in the season just yet. Winners of nine of their last 10, they've cut into the Red Sox's divisional lead. There's still a long way to go but with New York and Boston still having 75 head-to-head games left (just kidding but it sure does seem like they do), anything can happen.
While on the subject, somebody tell the Yankees to stop hitting like the Houston Astros when Clemens pitches. Tonight's 2-0 loss to the Mets wasted an otherwise strong outing by the Rocket.
After Schilling's chilling comments about Barry Bonds' medicine cabinet, dating habits, and just about everything else personal in the slugger's life, it's no surprise that the pitcher who hides from the media in his virtual world won't be taking the mound in any of the three games this weekend against the Giants. Conveniently, though, Schilling is scheduled to pitch against the Braves on Monday when Bonds and his bat are long gone.
The Dodgers and Angels square off again this weekend. Every time these two teams play, fond memories of the Chan Ho Park attempted, but miserably failed scissor-kick during a bench clearing brawl comes to mind.
Has anyone seen the leader board for the U.S. Open? Cabrera and Watson – not that Watson – aren't going to turn any heads. Let's all hope that Tiger stays in contention through the weekend to keep things interesting now that Michelson's missed the cut.
Thus far, the U.S. Open is lacking in the compelling story department. Actually, I take that back because both Aaron Baddely and Stephen Ames, fellow Stack & Tilt swingers, are both on the first page of the leader board through 36 holes. You see, I'm not making this stuff up. Get yourself to your local driving range and stack and tilt your way to a better golf game.
I have to be honest here. I love watching the U.S. Open but I am not a big fan of how the USGA goes about setting up their championship layouts. I want them to be tough and I want the courses to force the players to hit great shots. More importantly, though, I'd like to see players get rewarded for hitting great shots. Right now, that's not the case. First, par 5's are as much a part of the game of golf as are telling jokes about priests, rabbis and ducks at the 19th Hole. So, why only have two par 5 holes? Furthermore, why the need to make them 600-plus yards long? Give these guys a chance or two of getting home in two. Make the risk-reward interesting like deepening the rough around the green, or adding out of bounds stakes but also give these players a legitimate shot at an eagle or birdie on at least four of the 18 holes. Can you imagine a three-stroke swing on a par 5 during the back 9 on Sunday? It would be amazing! Actually, it'd be like watching The Masters, which is perhaps the most viewer friendly tournament in golf. Instead, the guy who makes the fewest double bogeys this week will probably win the U.S. Open as he hits 4-iron from 210 on his third shot to number 12. Second, is it really necessary to have a 288-yard par 3? Actually, I'll answer that. Uhmm…no. It's hard enough to play a great shot from 200 yards on blazing fast greens. From 288 it's just plain stupid. You're pretty much taking birdie out of the equation right from the start. Birdies shouldn't be easy, but they shouldn't be impossible either.
Speaking of architects, the architect who designed the building in which I now reside won't be winning the Nobel Prize anytime soon. This genius decided to basically take every dumpster on Pine Avenue, a relative restaurant row if you will, and store them in an enclave of our building. Hence, I'm paying top dollar to live next to a recycling center for the homeless. Bottles clanking like you wouldn't believe four nights a week, which is why I was bright eyed at three o'clock this morning. Seriously, last night it was like the same guy was loading and unloading bottles to and from his shopping cart over and over again just to mess with me. "182, 183, 180wha? Oh, man, better start over again?"
Now that Bob Barker is retired, maybe my memere (grandma in French) will stop pestering me, my sister and cousins to go on the Price's Right show.
Two sports figures who are looking at having long, uncomfortable summers are Michael Vick and Jason Giambi. Careers could be on the line, reputations are certainly at stake. Respect amongst peers though is probably the biggest issue they'll face. Giambi could flip like Carlo in The Sopranos and throw several of his teammates throughout the years under the bus. The same could be said about Vick because if you think he's the only NFL player involved in dog fighting then think again.
The brilliance of Vin Scully is a never-ending story. During tonight's Dodgers/Angels game, Saito squared off against Vlad Guerrero in the top of the ninth with the Angels trailing 2-1. After setting the table, here's what Scully said: "When you have a great match up like this, sometimes what you need to do is just shut up. So, you just concentrate and I'm going to have some fun myself." So, what'd Scully do. He didn't say a word for four straight pitches until Vlad finally flied out to center.
Again, as boring as baseball can sometimes be, there's something about listening to a great announcer that makes everything about baseball seem so right.
Until next week, Bear Down and have a great Father's Day weekend!