Ramblings (and a mail bag)

Heaven is a playground.

I hope Kevin Durant doesn’t have a career-defining injury. He’s the first player since Penny Hardaway whom I hope succeeds. But, really, 66 at Rucker Park. Building the legend one court at a time.

Please come back, Randy Moss. Just one more season. I don’t even care if he goes nuts and doesn’t finish. I just want one last glimpse and know it’s probably it.

One day Phil Ivey will start playing cards again, and all the pros will start hating it because he won’t have the on-line game to distract him. Someone set up a limit hold ‘em match with Andy Beal and televise every single hand.

I have to get to a Portland Beavers game before the summer ends, which isn’t a given when you live in Portland. Baseball’s the one sport I prefer watching in person.

I’m trying to read too many books. There are a dozen sitting on the coffee table in my bedroom. I’m 80 percent done with Chang-Rae Lee’s The Surrendered, but I’ve already finished three other books since I started it.

Now that the NFL Lockout is over, I’m choosing New England to win it all. It just feels right this year. Wait, it felt right last year. Okay, I’ve been duped by Bill Belichick.

Mad Men is on Netflix streaming. Years and years ago, I thought I’d work in advertising. Didn’t go as planned. But, hey, I’m still relatively young, and after three episodes, I’m inspired to invent a time machine and transport myself back to the ‘60s. It hasn’t hooked me like The Wire or Friday Night Lights, but it’s slowly getting interesting

Slightly disappointed Friday Night Lights is over… as a series. I’ve watched it a few times now, and Minka Kelly almost killed that show. They could have brought her back in season five for sentimental reasons, but why bother. Okay, I still prefer looking at her than Adrianne Palicki, but it’s only because of my bias for brunettes. Aimee Teegarden and Kelly were definitely the weak links.

Kevin Durant. Rucker. Six-six.

Still debating whether Hope Solo and Alex (She’ll always be Alexis to me.) Morgan are actually attractive. I mean, they look great on TV and are fitter than the average girl, but, really, I wonder how they look in person. Are they just athlete hot?

Another World Series of Poker goes by without me in attendance. One day, Doyle. One day.

Finally saw Electra Luxx. Not as good as Women in Trouble, but Carla Gugino almost makes me hurt myself. Almost. Why isn’t she a bigger star?

Rick Reilly. Boy, I remember when I thought he was the greatest thing since beef jerky, automatic rice cookers and Coca-Cola. Now, I cringe halfway through some of his articles/columns. I’ve re-read his old columns. There’s something missing now. I wonder if he’ll get a new contract.

Dan Patrick is my new favorite talking head. He’s still a little behind Bill Simmons, but he might have just edged Adam Carolla. I especially like his podcast being on five days a week. I look forward to it each morning.

I had phở for lunch about a week ago. If there were a place closer to my house, that’s all I would eat. I love, love the broth, but having it super spicy

while nursing a hangover isn’t the best idea, especially if you’re out in public and working with time constraints. Now, if I had a vat of that sitting in my kitchen the whole day. Oh, that’s a brilliant idea.

Everything I’ve heard about Derrick Rose this off-season has been fantastic. Let’s just hope there’s an actual season.

Speaking of which, I wouldn’t mind seeing some NBA players overseas for a few months. The highlights, uniforms and foreign crowds would be well worth it. Besides, it’ll give the college game some well-needed exposure pre-March Madness.

Georgetown. Oh, Georgetown. I know not what to make of you this season. I’ll settle for 20 wins, a few upsets and an invitation to dance. That’s not too much to ask, but it’ll be a bit of a surprise.

Am I the only one who thinks Victor Ortiz has a chance to beat Floyd Mayweather? (Crickets.) Guess I am. Well, maybe it’s wishful thinking. But, hey, I’ve seen bigger upsets. Tyson-Douglas. Okay, I didn’t see that one, but I heard about it when I got home from a city league basketball game and almost cried. Pacquiao-Barrera I. Okay, maybe not as big, but no one thought Pacman would dominate the Baby-Faced Assassin either.

Win, lose or draw, I love Kelly Pavlik the boxer/fighter. But when he’s not in the ring, what do I know? It’s his life, but boxers come and go and time’s not kind of any of them.

If there’s a NBA season and the Miami Heat fail to win the championship, I promise to cheer for them to win one, but just one. Not two or three or four or… And only under the condition that LeBron James get the Finals MVP and not Dwyane Wade, but that’s only because I always second guess myself spelling “Dywaine.” See, I did it again. Tell me there was a dyslexic ob-gyn.

Is it September, yet? I want to start following baseball. Are the Braves still in the hunt? Okay, I want to see if the San Francisco 49ers will actually be worth seeing this year.

I liked watching Manchester United practicing with the MLS All-Stars. Well, United has been playing together all year and those other guys got thrown together at the last second. They had no chemistry. Man U’s been playing all year, right?

Duke and Michael William Krzyzewski (holy crap, I spelled it right on the first try) avoid another scandal. Damn it! They’re good. They are really good. Coach K is the new Teflon don.

I watched The Tourist. I can’t figure out if I hate Johnny Depp, but I now know I love Angelina Jolie. I’ve been denying it for years, but I can’t anymore. And you know what? She has already adopted two Asian kids. I think I have a chance. How old can I be and still get adopted?

Kevin Durant killed two Larry Birds with one rock at the park.

On to the mail bag…

“How can you say that Roy Jones, Jr., was the ‘best fighter of your adolescence?’ Don’t you remember ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns, Roberto ‘Hands of Stone’ Duran, and ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler?”

-David S., Detroit, MI

Well, David, Jones doesn’t have the best nickname, but he was pretty damn good and since I turned 13 in 1991… No, I won’t do that. I know what you’re getting at, but I’ll still take Jones in his prime at 160 against all the other guys who’ve fought at 160. Not saying he’ll win them all, but if I was a betting man… The fights would at least be interesting. Jones versus Hearns. Whew! I don’t know how much I’d pay to see that fight. Duran was too small, but all things being equal, I just think Jones is too quick for him to handle. Leonard might just make it a dance-a-thon, so who knows? Hagler might be the easiest fight. I can see Jones just picking his shots, creating bad angles and moving in and out with his foot speed. And, no, I will never refer to Jones as “Superman” nor “Captain Hook.”

“Hey, is Leighton Meester using ‘Tori Black’ as a pseudonym for her side projects?”

-Javier R., Clinton Correctional Facility

I hope you work there, Javier. Actually, it’s probably better if you don’t… They are two different ladies. Tori is younger and taller by a couple years and a few inches, respectively. Personally, I’m glad there are two of them. More is more in this situation. To see them side by side, do a search with both their names. Coincidentally, Leighton was born while her mom was a jailbird. And Tori played someone who was arrested for breaking and entering. Hey, you have something in common with both. You know, since you work at CCF.

“Why do you hate the Blazers so much? And, do you think they’ll get better?”

-Kevin C., Portland, OR

Physically, I can’t see how they get any worse. I kid. No, I don’t hate the Blazers. I cheered whole-heartedly for them in the summer of 2000 when I was living in DC. And, they failed me. So close to getting to the Finals and giving Scottie Pippen a crack at ring number seven. Still, the only team I truly “hate” in the Western Conference is the Lakers. Regarding the Blazers, without the injuries, they’re in the top four in the west. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and won’t be for a while. Let’s see if LaMarcus Aldridge is peaking or peaked.

“You should write more about baseball. It’s the National Pastime.”

-Richard R., Denver, CO

I would, but I don’t know the game too well. (Insert joke about how it doesn’t stop me from writing about [insert sport/subject].) Really, I want to, but there was a disconnect between me and the game in my youth. Maybe it’s because I never had someone to play catch, or I didn’t play the game regularly. I tried out for the team in junior high school. Didn’t make it… because I couldn’t catch. The last time I swung a bat (at a ball) was in ninth grade when we played slow pitch softball. I played catch a few years late and really enjoyed it, but by then I’d already fallen in love with playing basketball and watching football and professional wrestling. And now there are all these stats and acronyms. It reminds me of taking finance courses in college. As mentioned above, it’s still the only game I prefer watching in person instead of on the TV. There’s something to be said about beer, hot dogs and peanuts (as long as they don’t stick in my teeth).

“Someone told me you watched the Emma Roberts’ movie, Winning Season. Hahahaha! Why?!?”

-Andrew E., Merced, CA

I love women’s basketball, Sam Rockwell and the offspring of Eric Roberts. It wasn’t that bad. It just wasn’t good. Okay, someone lied to me and said it was a Charlie Sheen documentary. Too late for the joke?

“Hey, jerk off. I thought you were going to write more columns.”

-Shawn H., Austin, TX

I’ll let Rasheed handle this one: “Hey, Shawn. CTC. Cut the check.”

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