I’ve been busy with work this week, but I’ve still been able to learn so much about sports on my computer. What follows are some things I’ve learned.
Thanks to online, and specifically Trey Online, I can now diagram a hook shot far better than I ever could before. Here is an example. This one could be better, but still has a good chance of being effective:
Here is another example. This one is less good:
Millsap photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images. Balkman photo: AP, via Yahoo! Sports’ NBA Gallery.
I also learned that sports stadium food architecture is the new “comparing athletes to pop culture figures.” See examples of how popular this new art form is here, here, here and here, and in a bunch of other places on the Internet.
Thanks the the Internet, I am able to learn about how important/interesting/funny/relevant-in-some-way things are, even if they are things that I never have thought about, cannot conceive of when I ever would think about, and am pretty sure are dumb. Thanks, online!
I also learned that the injuries that Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has sustained over the past two seasons have not been as a result of unfortunate accidents, or of the inevitable decomposition of a giant whose daily routine involves repeatedly running, leaping and taxing muscles and tendons probably not naturally intended to bear such a strain. I thought those things, but I am stupid.
Turns out the injuries are actually the result of God cursing the Lakers because Len Bias had a cocaine-induced heart attack and died in 1986.
See, in the all-inclusive-zero-sum universe of Boston v. L.A., all things are cyclical, and the amount of pain that Celtics fans felt after Bias’ death is now being visited on Lakers fans … well, on one in particular, really. It’s a tough burden to bear, which is why it’s so heartening to see that he’s been able to maintain a healthy sense of perspective while shouldering the world’s pain (emph. mine):
Now, I don’t mean to de-value Bias’ tragic death by comparing it to a couple of season ending knee injuries, but I almost feel like some mystic power is revisiting the Celtics devastation on us Lakers fans all over again in a spiteful fit of vengence. This is the only explanation I can come up with. Either that, or Nietzsche was right and God does really hate us all. Whether this season or next, Bynum will return to the court. And once he does, every time he collides with an opposing player or goes up for a rebound and comes down hard, I will see the ghost of Len Bias hovering over.
How the hell does sports do this to me?!
It’s true — it takes the patience of Job to endure the righteous fury that God hath rained down upon the Staples Center since Bias’ death: five NBA championships (1987, 1988, 2000, 2001 and 2002); nine Western Conference titles; five MVP awards (Magic Johnson in ’87, ’89 and ’90, Shaquille O’Neal in 2000, Kobe Bryant in 2008); swinging trades that brought superstar talents like O’Neal, Bryant and Pau Gasol to L.A.; the best record in the Western Conference thus far this season; and so on. Kudos for your courage, sir, and your restraint. You’ve taught me that to really suck the marrow from the bone of sports analysis, one must look closer, beneath the surface and dig into the rich creamy nougat of counterintuitive mysticism.
Photo courtesy of ChocolateCityWeb.com.
Feel free to leave me the things that you have learned about sports via the Internet in the comments. If you leave things about sports that you learned via TV, radio or newsprint, you will be banned from this site forever.