Knicks Fanatics’ Mid-Season Housekeeping, Part I

Good morning Fanatical Faithful.  It is a beautiful Sunday here at the hacienda.  Glad to be up and alive.  Glad to e-greet and e-see you.

Since the beginning of the year, when we had over 1000 visitors in one day and posting was fast, if not furious, things have slowed down a little.  Real life has been a bit hectic so I have had to pare down my Knicks-viewing to watching games on DVR and highlights on NBATV. But, we are into the second half of the season and I am renewed, regenerated and looking forward to the Knicks stretch run at a playoff berth and towards resolution of the LeBron-Might-Be-In-Orange and Blue conundrum.

As we move forward, I am contemplating several issues regarding maintaining and enhancing our blogging experience regardless of what actually happens to the Knicks on or off the court.  Amongst the issues I am considering is how to maximize the Live Blogging Event experience.  Most recently we have not had many LBEs and not many commenters at the ones we’ve hosted.  (I note that we always have a healthy number of stealth viewers who are not commenting.  It’s fun to keep up with the convo without saying a thing while watching the game.  I’ve done it a couple of times).  

I realize that there are many reasons for the low number of commenters, including last minute LBE posting and invitations, boring games and dislike-able hosts (not O&B of course).  Unfortunately, there is not a lot I can do about the last minute postings – sometimes I don’t know when I can set up until my 2 ½ year old gets tired or my wife gets home. As for O&B and late LBEs, his fiancé has him on FPT (“Fanatic People Time” or what some people call “Colored People Time” or what the New Rich (NR) call “Whenever I’m Ready Time.”). I can’t do shyte about the boring games either. And our personalities?  Well before blogging I didn’t have one, so I’m not changing that.

What I will do however is put out a schedule in advance to let folks know which LBEs I can lead. I hope that encourages you to join us as we watch this playoff run.

As of now, I intend to host the following games:

January 26,  Minnesota Timberwolves @ 7:00 pm
January 30, Washington Wizards @ 8:00 pm
February 5, Milwaukee Bucks @ 7:30 pm
February 6, Cleveland Cavaliers @ 7:30pm

I am looking forward to each of these events.  Hopefully, Jonny Flynn is playing full throttle in full form so we can talk about what I saw in person during the summer league and what you folks with NBATV and in Minnie have been seeing develop all season long.  The Wizards game presents an opportunity to dig in on the sad state of the Wizards and the issues regarding guns and athletes and “Stupid Rich People Who Happen To Be Athletes.”  When we play the Bucks, we can re-visit Statesman’s and O&B’s overzealous support of Brandon Jennings who appears to be leveling off in his rookie campaign. He definitely ain’t no Tyreke Evans (LOL).  And finally, we can riff and rip on the state of Knicks union and LeChances of LeKing coming home (our home: mi casa, su casa) to play 41 in 2010-11.

So, this schedule is now on my kitchen calendar so that everybody in the household knows to give daddy-hubby some LBE time in exchange for the TLC time he be throwing down on an hourly basis. (LOL).  That just means I’ll need to beg them to at least let me get the blog started before having to run an errand or change a diaper.

Speaking of TLC and housekeeping, I think I was a bad-blogger daddy yesterday.  You tell me. 

You know, I take my basketball seriously.  I grew up playing mostly outdoors  in the windy city in all types of weather conditions including in the howling, shot-altering wind and in badly-brushed back snow without gloves on.  I love some basketball and I am thrilled that my 11-year old daughter loves it and has already, in two years, played as much organized basketball as I did on some poor excuse for a overseas college basketball team.

As a sports dad I usually keep my cool, not commenting during the game and occasionally cheering some outstanding play or hustle from all the girls including my daughter. But generally, I reserve my comments to my daughter until after the game, as we walk to WaWa for some post-game treats, especially because I don’t want my loud voice overriding her attention to her coach’s orders. . . but yesterday became unbearable as I watched my daughter’s team of 4th and 5th graders get hammered.

The point guard was a cute little hard-working girl who dribbled sideways with her head down while constantly getting stripped or trapped in the corner before throwing the ball up for grabs.  By the second half, with my team down by 14, I could feel my gut tighten up after the one millionth turnover as the coach insisted on letting the girl play point although she made one decent pass the entire morning.

And if that didn’t make me want to walk to the car and get my stash of Jack Daniels out of the cooler in the trunk of my car, my lovely daughter, who was playing her heart out, would get a rebound and travel coast-to-coast several times with these little long-haired munchkins chasing her. Even with her dribble my daughter would beat them to the basket, pause and shoot and miss every time because she wouldn’t hit the backboard.  It was so bad that I eventually had to scream “Sweetie will you hit the backboard please.”  Even the ref felt compelled to repeat my instructions to her as they in-bounded the ball.

But that was not my bad behavior, I think.

After the game, I hugged my huffing and puffing daughter and headed out of the gym.  I was too miffed to even say “bye” to the coach who led the championship team last year and is a star college baller herself.  I was afraid I would make the wrong comment, so I hurried out with my daughter. I just kept thinking that what I would say to her is what I would say to Mike D’Antoni about his team and how he was mishandling it.  So I left.

But I just couldn’t contain myself.  Usually, I ask my daughter whether she had fun before lauding her about her effort and usually stellar play.  Usually, I give her several little daddy kisses on the forehead as we walk out the door.  Usually. . .

This time I gave my tired 11-year old a kiss on the forehead and said “You all sucked.  That was the worst basketball I’ve seen since watching the Knicks play the Pistons.”  And as I walked her to the car in the cold, I couldn’t stop there.  I mean if I could praise her, I could be critical too, right?
“Didn’t they teach you how to hit the backboard on a lay-up. [Her response, “Yes, but not under so much pressure.”]  What was that? . . . I liked the way you played hard, but you didn’t do it until the third quarter.  You were out there socializing with your best friend [on the other team].  You weren’t thinking about the game. The ref was hollering ‘white’s ball’ for the inbounds and you [the white team] were at half-court holding a conversation and laughing with your friend.  Didn’t you all just talk at the sleep-over.   Pay attention.  This is not a play date, this is basketball.”

As the stride in my voice raised, my daughter gave me her usually dismissive “Yeah, o.k. Daddy.”

But then I knew I had to stop after I said “This is not a tea party, pay attention, you need to PLAY THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY.”  And a voice inside slapped me in the brain and said “OMG, you sound like Larry Brown.”  Now, that had to hurt me more than it impacted her.

So when we got to Wawa, where I usually treat both of us to some after-game sweets (I actually opted for salt with potato chip under it), she got to get something extra without me telling her it was post-game guilt sugar I was buying. 

So what do you think?  Did Daddy take his fanaticism too far or was he right to let his daughter know that her team sucked and she had to play better?