21 June 2006

El Calor ha vencido (The Heat have won)

It is not my intencion to turn this into a sports blog, but I wanted to comment on the Heat win and post some interesting articles on the NBA Finals. I'm pleased with the result. I think the Maverick reaction to game 5 cost them. As I commented yesterday:

[Cuban] does a disservice to his team and sets a bad example- one where denying responsibility for your own failures is an acceptable reaction. I don't think it is acceptable, and I predict that Dallas will pay for it, tonight even.

Cuban did react appropriately to Miami's win last night. It could be that he learned his lesson. It could also be that he was busy thinking about how to prevent this from happening again. The Mavericks are a very strong, young team, and should contend next year as well. I should also remind you that I predicted a Heat win in 6 games before the series started.

  • SI.com's Kelly Dwyer has a nice recap on the season and a fitting tribute to Pat Riley, an old dog whose tricks finally came together completely after more than 10 years with the Heat. There's even a nice pic of Riley giving Wade a little peck on the cheek. Now that's love.
  • Alonzo Mourning's career will end on a high note, should he choose to retire. ESPN.com's John Hollinger looks a 'Zo's impact during the Finals. Considering his struggles with a serious kidney ailment, his contributions were outstanding.
  • Miami's win really was a team effort, and Dwyane Wade is the best player in the NBA. This article from ESPN.com highlights the team strategy that Riley concocted to motivate them. Here is a telling anecdote:

Riley once put a large bucket of ice water in front of him and told his team: "If you want to win a championship, you have to want it…"
Stopping in mid-sentence, Riley plunged his head into the water and kept it there for several seconds, which turned into a minute, which turned into even more than a minute. His players sat dumbfounded, watching, until Riley finally pulled his head out of the water and finished his sentence:
"…like it's your last breath."

Sounds like a good way to make a champion.

As always, you can check out ESPN.com and SI.com for more.

20 June 2006


On my latest SPOTD e-mail I talked a lot about game 5 of the NBA Finals. As a Miami partisan I was pleased with the result, and felt that the blame for Dallas' loss rested with Dallas, whose failures prior to the final 2 plays were the real contributors to their loss. Greg Cote of the Miami Herald echoes my feelings with today's column. He goes into some detail regarding the reaction of the Mavericks, and I particularly like his conclusion:

Yes, let the Mavericks not accept blame for their third straight Finals loss or entertain the absurd idea Miami might be a worthy opponent.
Let's instead put a telescope on the grassy knoll and imagine Stern there -- is he grinning? -- exacting some sort of vendetta against Cuban over the fact he is the most outspoken critic of NBA officiating. A conspiracy! Yes. That's it. Stern's Revenge!
''It's just ridiculous,'' Cuban summarized before climbing onto his team's bus.
He meant the officiating late in Sunday's game.
He might better have meant his team's response to the loss in the absence of any sort of grace.

It is that final sentiment that I wanted to talk about, the lack of grace. In our society we tend to celebrate mavericks (no pun intended) like Mark Cuban. He made his money, he is doing it his way, he doesn't take any garbage from anyone. With those celebrated qualities has also come a disgusting classlessness. Cuban has no class and he lacks the most basic kind of discretion that might allow him to actually work with the league instead of against it.

He does a disservice to his team and sets a bad example- one where denying responsibility for your own failures is an acceptable reaction. I don't think it is acceptable, and I predict that Dallas will pay for it, tonight even.

12 June 2006

100th SPOTD E-mail!

The 100th edition of the SPOTD went out today. It was a nice little milestone. A highlight:

SPOTD #26, suggested by Matt Nielsen:
Me gusta acariciar panzas sudadas calientes.
Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
May goose-tah ah-car-ee-see-arr pahn-sahs soo-dah-does cahl-ee-en-tays.
I like to rub hot, sweaty bellies.

SPOTD #32, inspired by a trip to Miami:
La comida cubana es sobresaliente.
Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Lah comb-ee-dah coo-bah-nah ace sow-bray-sahl-yen-tay.
Cuban food is outstanding.

SPOTD #72, my favorites are the pop culture translations:
¡Déjelo caer como si estuviera caliente!
Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
¡Day-hay-low ki-air coe-mow see ess-too-vyair-ah cal-yen-tay!
Drop it like its hot

11 June 2006

Shaq Attack II

In preparation for today's game 2 for the Heat and Mavericks, Marc Stein of ESPN.com has prepared a listing of his 10 favorite lines from the "quotatious" Shaquille O'Neal. Stein's list is limited to quotes made during or preceding one of Shaq's 6 visits to the Finals, do there are many that don't appear here. It is still worth a look.

09 June 2006

Gator Country

Alligators are a way of life for us here in Florida. They're just a part of the scenery. That doesn't mean I ignore one when I see it- just that I will always assume that there IS one there. And by there I mean el agua, the water.

One of the most interesting things for me was to visit a place like Lake Mead in Nevada and realize that there were no gators in the water. Just the same, I didn't go looking for any (just in case I had been followed, I didn't want to ruin the experience).

In today's OpinionJournal, Ned Crabb, the WSJ's letters editor, recollects his experience growing up in Tallahassee. It mirrors some of my memories, particularly those of Camp Shands, a Boy Scout camp where we shared the lake with the cocodrilos.

08 June 2006

Shaq Attack

I was never a Shaquille O'Neal fan before he joined the Miami Heat. I have always enjoyed hearing what he has to say, and he has rarely failed to impress. Here is one of the latest Shaq-isms:

Three [titles] is cool. Three is a nice-sized book. But I want a novel. With four or five, it's a New York Times bestseller.

I love this guy. This is a great match-up, with two possibly impossible-to-guard players in Shaq and Dirk Nowitski. I say Heat in 6.

05 June 2006

More Good News from Latin America

The electoral victory of Alan Garcia in Peru signals another defeat for the Latin American left (and Hugo Chavez).

For more check out Publius Pundit.

01 June 2006

Lost stuff

I love Lost. Entertainment Weekly has some interesting articles about the show, including some pretty good theories of what is going on.

I don't have a clue what is going on, but it sure is fun to watch.