“An acre of performance is worth a whole world of performance” – Red Auerbach
I was chatting with a friend last night on subjects ranging from politics, economics, and churches all the way to the NBA playoffs. I personally find that the NBA playoffs are very similar to the 2012 presidential election in my thinking. That is, I can’t really tell you who I’m pulling for – there are no teams that I really “like” – but I sure can tell you who I’m pulling against, and it’s more than just one team.
From the standpoint of basketball, I have to say I don’t like the Heat, or the Lakers, or the Spurs, or the Celtics. Nothing personal to fans of those teams, but I can point to players in each case that I find really off-putting. Obviously, for the Lakers, there’s Kobe Bryant (can I use the word “rapist” or do I still have to say “alleged rapist”?) and Ron Artest – err, “Metta World Peace” who gave James Harden a concussion with a cheap shot a few weeks back. For the Spurs it’s Tim Duncan, who has made a career out of (i) getting every call under the sun and (ii) complaining loudly about the ones he didn’t get. Seriously Tim, just go be great and be thankful that the refs protect you at every turn. For the Celtics it’s dirty Kevin Garnett.
Probably the most humorous (sad?) situation though is the Miami Heat. LeBron James, so insecure in his own abilities, left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Heat hoping to slide into a championship with the help of Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh. Overcome with euphoria after the move, James made some silly statements about winning quite a few championships in the future (like 7 or 8 if I recall). He still has precisely zero, and Chris Bosh is injured, putting the chances for this season in doubt. Honestly, if this poor kid doesn’t win the title this year he might go crazy and leave the Heat for some other team hoping to get a quick title.
I often find that when it comes down to the NBA finals I have two teams that I really don’t like that much, and can only take solace in the fact that one of those teams will lose (though it means one has to win).
I find myself in much the same place with the 2012 presidential election. The only good thing that can come from this election is that one of these hucksters, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, will lose. I’ll block out for a moment that it means one of them will be president … it’s just to painful to consider.
If Obama loses then it sends a “clear” message to the left – you’re corporate-bought fascist/socialist governance won’t fly. (Though, it sends the opposite message to Romney.) If, on the other hand, Romney loses, it sends a “clear” message to the right that nominating a big-government, manage-the-decay, “next-in-line” candidate won’t fly. I think both of these would be good things.
As a side benefit, an Obama loss would provide a beautiful chance for the punditry to mock James Carville who declared (in the after-glow of the 2008 Obama victory) that this represented the rise of a Democratic majority that would last for forty years. If Romney wins it almost surely means that the Republicans will also take the Senate and hold the House – indicating an utter and complete failure for Carville. (“Hey, that’s mean, you shouldn’t mock people!” – Carville is a paid political hack, and he’s a big boy, he knows the score and he can take it.)
I haven’t honestly made a decision on which would be better for the country. A Romney loss means we have a shot at a decent Republican candidate in 2012 (Christie, or perhaps even Rand Paul?). An Obama loss likely implies a repeal of Obamacare (if the Supreme Court doesn’t take it down first).
It’s interesting – I really don’t like either outcome and yet I watch with great fervency because I enjoy the political game. I think the same is true for the playoffs. I may not like either outcome of the NBA finals, but I sure will be watching the whole way. (Right now I’m pulling for an Oklahoma City Thunder versus Indiana Pacers final … I seriously doubt we’ll get there though.)