Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let's Go Celtics

There is no team in professional sports harder to root for than the New York Knicks.

At least with the Yankees, you can have a little respect for the fact that they're committed to winning. With the Cowboys, you can be impressed with the glamor of it all.

With the Eagles, there is the passion of the fan base. With Duke basketball, there's ... there's ... there's ... well, nothing, but they're not a pro team.

The Knicks? There's nothing either.

TigerBlog first became a Knicks fan when he was a little kid, larger because FatherBlog was a Knicks fan. They won two NBA titles, back in 1970 and 1973, playing the ultimate in team basketball.

They had wonderful, lovable players, like Walt Frazier and Willis Reed and Earl Monroe and Dave DeBusschere and Dick Barnett and Phil Jackson (FatherBlog's favorite) and even Hawthorne Wingo. And Jerry Lucas, who could memorize phone books and take words and instantly put the letters in alphabetical order.

And of course Bill Bradley. When TB was a kid, Bradley was just another player on the Knicks, another player TB rooted for because of the uniform. Of course, TB never dreamed at the time that he'd come to know so much more about Bradley's college career at Princeton than he would his time with the Knicks.

Then there were the Knicks of the 1990s, the ones cursed by Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller. They too had players you loved to root for, like Charles Oakley and John Starks and especially Patrick Ewing, who was a complete warrior in every way. 

Fast forward to today, or at least last night, and how can anyone root for that team?

It starts with the owner, who by all accounts is a egomaniacal dictator who has no regard for fans and especially employees and whose only qualification is that his father started a successful cable company.

And then there are the players. Carmelo Anthony is the best player the team has, and yet he's nothing compared to LeBron James, in skill, ability to raise his game to a championship level and certainly likeability.

Actually, most them do.

And there they were last night, at home, trying to close out the Celtics. And what do they do? Show up in all black and talk about going to a funeral. For Boston. Less than three weeks after the bombing at the marathon.

TB, who has nearly 50 years invested in the Knicks, would like to see the Celtics win the next two games and advance after being down 0-3.

For this to happen, Boston will need to win Friday and Sunday.

The same is true for the four teams competing at the Ivy League lacrosse tournaments. If they want to win, they also have to win Friday and Sunday.

Is that an effortless segue or what? That's one of TB's best, he has to say.

The women's tournament is being held at Franklin Field, because Penn won the regular season championship. By the slimmest of margins.

Penn went 7-0 in the league, stunningly winning four of those games in overtime, including one over Princeton, who finished second at 6-1.

Right now, the Ivy League has four teams ranked consecutively in RPI. Princeton, at 19, is the highest, followed by Penn at 20, Cornell at 21 and Dartmouth at 22.

The matchups for the Ivy tournament tomorrow are Princeton-Dartmouth at 4 and Cornell-Penn at 7.

There are 26 teams in this year's NCAA women's lacrosse tournament, whose field will be announced Sunday. The bracket is a bit odd looking, with some first-round sites having four teams and others having three.

The Ivy League will have at least one, as the team that wins Sunday's final will get the automatic bid.

The Ivy League figures to have at least two, but possibly not three. In that case, with the RPIs so tightly bunched, the semifinals have the feel of NCAA play-in games.

The men's and women's lacrosse world is filled with huge games. Actually, it started yesterday with the CAA tournament and continues until the draws are announced Sunday.

Will Princeton be in the men's and/or women's NCAA field? Will the Celtics come all the way back?

That's what TB is rooting for, in all three cases.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's actually Harthorne Nathaniel Wingo.