You Should’ve Been a Clerk

Man, this past week.

It wasn’t really anything to do with finals. Granted, finals this semester were about 89 times tougher than any finals I’ve had before, but at least I saw that train wreck coming months ago, and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Well, maybe there was, but I wasn’t willing to do anything that early, haha.

It’s more about the end of a semester, with the next semester being abroad, and the necessary good byes and good lucks. Friends I won’t see for nine months, seniors I may never see ever again, professors to thank. Add in the unexpected arrival of a wonderful romance, and I’ve been walking around campus for a week with a bleeding heart, completely unlike my usual self. There were so many acquaintances who weren’t aware that I was going abroad, and who told me to have a nice break, and I just didn’t have any heart left to tell them I’d be away. So yeah, if anyone tried to talk with me in the past week about the Iverson trade to Denver, or that Silent Shout album on Pitchfork’s list, and you got some noncommittal grunt or whimper, I apologize, and now you know why I’ve been in that state. We’ll talk later.

Now I’ve settled in at home, and Swarthmore is beginning to recede into the back of my memory; I’m not really the type to really dwell on such things. For some reason, I immediately set up my workspace in the sunroom, an area of the house I’ve never used in my entire life. Maybe it’s because the large windows and views of the woods remind me of Hallowell (I just noticed a Red-shouldered Hawk soaring above the pines, I thought I’d heard it screaming earlier…), but that never entered my conscious thought.

What I have noticed, however, is that for some reason, I feel like a completely different person on this return home. My old computer room seems totally unappealing; I don’t think I’ve spent more than 10 seconds in that room, where I used to spend the vast majority of the day; a move to the sunroom made sense then, as a sort of really lame New Beginning. It would probably be a foolish mistake to try and pinpoint exactly why I feel differently, but it must be a culmination of everything that’s happened in the past week, the past month, and/or the past semester. Best semester ever? You could certainly make the case. I had a blast.

But yeah, it’s nice to be home. I look out these windows, and I know this yard like the back of my hand. It strikes me that I’ve always referred to the small creek that runs through the back as, simply, The Creek. I looked up the actual official name of the creek many years ago, but I never remembered it. It’s always been The Creek to me, and it always will be. Meanwhile, my dad is either reading the newspaper, watching football, or watching incomprehensible kung fu movies, and my mom is either getting some work done, doing Sudoku puzzles, or getting emotional over Korean soap operas. Ah, home.

But now that I’m home, let’s catch up on a few things.

First, the Iverson trade.

I don’t think anyone can make a good argument in Philadelphia’s favor here. You traded away a transcendent superstar, an icon of the city, a beloved rallying point for the fans. In exchange, let’s see what you got.

Andre Miller, a perennially underachieving point guard who’s jumped from team to team over the years, probably indicative of the fact that he’s a clubhouse tumor that nobody wants to work with, talented or not.

I didn’t even realize Joe Smith was still in the league. Was he really the top overall pick in the draft? He was fairly good in his prime, but these days, I’m sure he’ll grab a few rebounds before heading to the bench with a bad back.

Two draft picks? Remember that a draft pick doesn’t necessarily turn into a young stud superstar. The Sixers could use their pick on some like, say, Tyler Hansborough, as much as it pains me to say. The kid’s good at the college level, but I can only envision him being completely bewildered at the professional level. He hasn’t looked all that good this year anyways, while Brandan Wright has literally looked unstoppable. If I wanted to rely on someone in the post in crunch time, I’d goto Wright, not Hansborough at this point. Anyways, I just don’t see how the Sixers can win with this trade. They’ll botch the draft picks, and sign some decrepit veteran with their expiring contract money. For all that, they lost their transcendent superstar.

Meanwhile, a lot of ink has already been spilled on Iverson’s role in Denver. Bijan Bayne wrote a nice article on the topic at nbadraft.net (best website of all time?), basically showing that it’s extremely difficult to accommodate two superstars on one team. They either must have complementary roles (think Stockton and Malone) or they must both be unselfish team players (think Duncan and Robinson). I love how I can just prattle off last names, and every basketball fan knows exactly who I’m talking about, as if they’re kings or gods of some sort, of basketball I suppose. In any case, it’s difficult to create those situations, and more often than not, the experiment fails. That’ll probably be the case here in Denver, as Iverson and Anthony play very similar scoring roles, and since they’re competing for the same limited resources (the ball, shots, attention), both economic and ecological analysis will show that the two cannot successfully coexist.

Also, I’m watching the Falcons-Panthers game, and I can’t stop laughing at the Panthers’ strategy on third down. They’re taking quarterback Chris Weinke completely off the field, and snapping the ball directly to runningback DeAngelo Williams. Why didn’t we think of this earlier? Wienke has been the most incompetent quarterback that I have ever witnessed, and the Falcons have a horrendous run defense. How do the Falcons not see this coming? At this point, the Panthers have run the play 8 times, and picked up the first down 7 of those times. You know the Panthers are going to run, how do you not stop it. It’s not like DeShaun Foster is actually any good, because he’s not. Meanwhile, this has got to be so demoralizing for Weinke. Yeah, we don’t even need you on the field for these critical plays, even though you’re supposed to be the centerpiece of our offense. Why is he even on the field. If he’s just going to hand the ball off, bring in Basanez to at least give some threat of the pass. I’m so sad that the Panthers have slowly crumbled into this lowly state.
Okay, the game just ended, and basically we won by taking time off the clock and relying on our defense. Wienke completed four passes, for 32 yards. Sorry, but we’ve gotta bench this kid. If we don’t have any confidence in him, why even bother?

As for Silent Shout, why don’t we leave that for another day.

Links for today:

  • True Hoop takes a good look at the psyche of Allen Iverson, and what makes him tick as a basketball player. Great read.
  • Another transcendent basketball superstar, Renaldo Balkman, has his own Myspace page. Endless lols.
  • All the slingshots I made as a kid were way too flimsy, I’d love to have my hands on this pro Jack Spade Sling Shot.
  • Someone accidentally put their baby through the airport’s x-ray machine. Oops. Man, I can’t even joke about this, what a terrible thing to have happen.
  • Google has published their year-end Zeitgeist, featuring the most popular searches of the year and lot’s of other cool stats.
  • Not a link, but Steven Jackson just scored a game-winning touchdown in overtime, on a 21-yd run, giving him 250 total yards and two touchdowns on the game. Absolute monster. I still can’t believe that I managed to trade away Cadillac Williams to get him in my fantasy league. Sorry, I’m just really pleased, and had to throw that out there.
  • Here’s a nice article on the most dangerous roads in the world. Unreal.
  • I hope everyone has a great holiday season, keep in touch for realz, we gotta be trill. Missing everyone tons…
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