Las Vegas-Washington in the Stanley Cup Finals? That’s such a comment on our times.
Golden State-Cleveland in the NBA Finals? Pardon my French, but Plus Ca Change . . .
I’m going to admit it. I have watched exactly one quarter of the NBA playoffs: That fourth quarter of the Boston-LeBron Game 7. And not one period of the NHL playoffs. Not even a sentence fragment.
I’ve never been a huge LeBron fan. But I find myself liking him more and more. I only grudgingly grant LBJ standing in the discussion for greatest NBA player of all-time. (In my day, a GOAT was a bad thing.) With MJ and KAJ—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
But that’s because as much as I like Steve Kerr and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant as individuals—enough, already. I’m ready for the NBA’s Las Vegas expansion team.
This disinterest in the NBA’s postseason is not a comment on anything other than my Sports Watching Quotient.
What’s a Sports Watching Quotient?
It goes like this. There are 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week. And every hour you spend watching sports is an hour you didn’t spend with loved ones who would rather watch paint dry than watch sports, especially out-of-town sports teams. It’s an hour you didn’t spend playing golf or exercising—or exercising your brain with a book.
Or, in my case, it’s an hour you could have used to make. . . beer.
Bulls and Blackhawks not in the playoffs? I have a Coconut Porter and a Czech Pilsner aging in my beer cellar to show for it.
My sports-watching this spring has been confined to the Cubs and golf.
That more than fills my SWQ.
It’s the Yin and Yang of life. Very convenient that when the Bulls and Blackhawks wilt, the Cubs are in bloom.
Loyalty is for—well, I’ll just say that my diehard-fan days are long gone. I think of sports as entertainment. If it’s not entertaining, I don’t do it.
I did go to a White Sox game last week. That was entertaining because of the good friends involved. And the $1 hot dogs were an eye-opener.
Still trying to decide whether the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals fit into my Sports Watching Quotient.
Watching the NBA Finals seems like watching a Seinfeld rerun. Curry-LeBron yada yada. Been there, done that.
Also, I have a problem with the NBA’s predictability. In college hoops, anything can happen. In the NBA, they run around for six months to get to the place on Memorial Day that you knew on Halloween that they would be in.
At least in the NHL, you don’t really know how the puck bounces.
As my non-sports-afflicted cousin used to say, “When they score in hockey, it always looks like it was by accident.’’
Here’s why Washington-Las Vegas is such a sign of the times.
This is the first time an expansion team has reached the finals. The Subsequent Six St. Louis Blues don’t count. And it has happened on the watch of our first “expansion-team’’ President, the first Commander-in-Chief who had no experience as a politician or a military leader.
What’s more, the U.S. Army is opposed to letting Las Vegas trademark the nickname Golden Knights, which is used by the Army’s parachute team.
True story: The last time I covered the Stanley Cup Finals was in 1993. L.A.-Montreal. And what did my Detroit Free Press friend Keith Gave and I do on the off-day in L.A.? Quick day-trip to The Strip.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Las Vegas-ization of sports betting across the land. Which is not welcomed on the Golden Knights’ home turf. The Land of Casino Sports Books will have to share the wealth from sea to shining sea.
And who is Las Vegas facing in its feel-good Stanley Cup Finals appearance?
The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to expand my Sports Watching Quotient to include Lord Stanley.
The only problem is, I have no idea who to root for, our beleaguered Nation’s Capital or Gambling Chic.