Saturday, November 06, 2004

Heels, Sox, Steelers...& Wizards

[ Note: In addition to being a big Red Sox fan, my buddy Des is also a lifelong Bullets Wizards fan. Anyway, since I don't talk much (read: none) about the NBA, Des was kind enough to write down some of his thoughts heading into the 2004-05 season. And despited what Bill Simmons says, I don't think Washington is a lottery team (and this time I mean it).

- Ryan ]

As the sun sets on a glorious Red Sox season, and the sun rises on a potentially glorious Steelers season, it's time to divert my attention to what some sports lovers call the armpit of professional sports: the NBA. From the million dollar salaries, to the marijuana/DUI cases, to the star bickering (Shaq/Kobe), the NBA is a multi-tiered soap opera with a surprisingly consistent fan base. People love the NBA. They love the personalities. They love their stars. What I love about the NBA, however, is the Wizards.

Why do I love the Wizards? Why do men love 18 year old girls? Why do half of all white males in Alabama have a moustache? In a city rich with political fighting, crime, and 22 year old female house staffers making $24,000/year and looking for 'extra income', the Wizards represent what was once good in DC. Pride. Integrity. Hard work. Honesty. Working toward a common goal. Ok, you caught me. The entire last paragraph is a lie. The Wizards are terrible. There is no pride, integrity, hard work, honesty, or working toward a common goal one can associate with the Wizards, unless you consider 25 wins in a season 'working toward a common goal.' But the Wizards ARE basketball for a city that loves its hoops and lost the glory days of the Hoyas fifteen years ago. And their 2-0 start has the city buzzing.

Gilbert Arenas pictures are going up on refrigerators. Eight-year olds are mimicking Jarvis Hayes' 16 foot pull up jumper in their driveways. Old men are reminded of their youth when they see Antawn Jamison's retro-60s game. With the Skins 2-5, and the Presidential election over, the Wizards are bringing excitement to DC, an excitement that will come to life Saturday night when Shaq comes to town. What is the price of this excitement? Only $45 dollars if you want to sit in the rafters. And $70 if you want to get a bit closer. If you want to see the players, be prepared to spend $100. Courtside, take out another mortgage on your house. But it will be money well spent. Do you want to be the guy at the end of the bar who had to shyly admit to his friends that he wasn't at the Phone Booth the year the Wizards started 3-0? Neither do I. See you at the MCI Center Saturday Night. I'll be the guy in Section 106, Row P, Seat 7, wearing the green 'Brew Thru' T-shirt.

- Des