The name of the gig is "Mid-Week Malaise," and here's the essential premise: it's only Wednesday. If you have a normal work schedule, you got 2 days BEHIND you, sure - but also 2 days in front of you. And what are you gonna do this weekend, anyway? Go to Home Depot with wifey? Sit around and pretend to read something off a national best-seller list? My ass. You're gonna feel sorry for yourself.
In the process of doing THAT - and in the process of thinking to yourself hourly, "Man, another 2 days of this crap?" - The Mid Week Malaise is going to provide you with a list of people whose lives are worse than yours at present. Don't we all need to bask in the reflected sorrows of others from time to time to feel better about ourselves?
Hell yes, we do. And here we go now:
Alright, let me get this straight. You could have had Greg Oden (arguably the best big man in two decades) or Kevin Durant (maybe the best combo forward since Garnett) to lead your proud franchise out of misery alongside some other good young players. Instead, you're probably going to get Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, or - if you're the idiot everyone wants to believe you are - that Chinese dude, Yi Jianlian. Sigh. What is it with good players from the 1980s having such a crappy run of luck as executives? What water is Joe Dumars drinking that the rest of you aren't? Oh yea. The fire water.
You were a favorite, according to some reports, to be the next head coach of the Sonics. Now, though, things might be different. They have the No. 2 pick, which means either Durant or Oden - pending a trade - is going to the Emerald City. That player, coupled with Ray Allen shooting healthy three balls, could be enough to keep the team there. I don't think Lenny Wilkens is about to hand the reins of this bus to a lifelong assistant with a few quick stints here and there doing more. He'll probably take the job himself, or give it to Rick Carlisle or (gasp!) Dwayne Casey or someone. So, Mr. Iavaroni, get ready for another season where you win 60 games out-gunning everyone and then lose in the Western Finals to a rejuvenated-by-their-loss-to-the-Warriors Mavericks team.
Two wins in a row (Sunday and Monday) was nice and all, but it comes down to this: if you bite it to the Red Sox today, that means you'll have lost back-to-back series against your two biggest rivals - the one across the city, and the one up I-95. We realize it's not necessarily Joe's fault (have you seriously sat down and looked at this pitching staff?), but it might be time for things to change in YankeeLand eventually. Cashman should bite it, Torre should bite it, and they should just start over with the same philosophy they had in the mid-1990s: build through the farm, not through the drug-addled dollar.
The city of Denver
Let's summarize, shall we? The Nuggets win Game 1 against the Spurs. Guess what? The Spurs are en route to another Finals appearance, and the Nuggs didn't win another game. The Avalanche missed the playoffs for the first time in forever. The Rockies are in dead last in the NL West. The Broncos missed the playoffs on the final day of the regular season last year, and now there's a restraining order out on one of their tight ends. Sheesh. Mile Low is more like it.
Hasek, arguably the best goalie of the past two decades, has a scant one Stanley Cup title (2002) to his name. He had a legitimate shot to add another this year, or so it seemed: after the hit on Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3, Chris Pronger was sat down (i.e. suspended) for Game 4. If the Wings had won that puppy, Game 5 would have been back at the Joe with a chance to take it home; instead, Detroit dropped that game, and in the deciding Game 6, Hasek let that red light behind him go off a bit too much early on as the Ducks made their second Cup Finals appearance in the past four years. This might have been Hasek's last best chance to reach the ice's promised land.
The good people of Buffalo
We won't belabor the point - Music City Miracle, Norwood, skate in the crease - but Buffalo has had some bad ass luck when it comes to sports. Perhaps more importantly, the city itself blows. I was out there once on a Sunday night back in 2003, and while I'm not claiming any city has a truly bustling social dynamic on a Sunday, Buffalo was just utterly depressing to be in. This year, the absolute best team in the NHL (theoretically) bit it in five games to a good Senators team made good by basically just their first line. And let's be honest here: the Bills, who lost almost everyone this off-season and gained a few rookies and also-rans, aren't going to contend in a pretty solid AFC East. Cry, cry Buffalo.
Maybe if this was 1998, things would be different. You could take out the Spurs - heck, you did that year in the Western Semis, 4-1 - and there'd be no Michael Jordan awaiting you on the next step of the bracket, and maybe you'd win your first ever NBA Championship as a coach. As it stands, you've got a really solid roster that has no idea how to win in San Antonio or even to compete against the Spurs' Big Three in general. You might get the broom taken to you, Jerry, in the same year you were called by a former player, "... the absolute worst person..." he's ever met.
When you do this, the man you're doing it over (Aaron) won't be there, and there's a high probability the man who presides over the whole spectacle of your life (Selig) won't either. Not to mention, if you don't start sending some balls into orbit right about now, you're not going to be close enough to do it in Boston off of Schilling, which is a home run that would literally redefine the entire baseball world. Let's get cracking, B-Squared.
Michael Vick and Clinton Portis
One of you may have dogs beaten on your property; the other condones it. Both are you are idiots. Here's a bigger issue: both of you, on the field, are capable of so much more than you actually provide. Mr. Vick, you won a playoff game at Lambeau a few years ago, for chrissakes. What have you done for me lately? Mr. Portis, stop talking about your Mississippi roots and go out and run for a relevant 1,400 yards, lead the Skins to the NFC East title and the NFC Championship Game, and try not to get hurt in the process, and maybe then - and only then - I'll listen to you about your take on animal cruelty.
Sure, you make a lot of money, and run the most powerful sports entertainment product in the world. But do you really want all these clowns parading through your office? You need a couple of minutes to idly download porn with the screen aligned just so that no one can see, right? I mean, every busy man needs a chance to detox once in a while. "Oh, Marvin Lewis is in the lobby? Just tell him to hold on a second..."