By Joe Torosian —
“From high above the western sideline.”—Chick Hearn
When I was a kid and had a favorite player, my heart broke when they (Connie Hawkins, James Harris, Harold Jackson) left the team. As a Rams fan, this usually happened when the final cut down was released before starting a new season.
While my heart no longer gets broken—all the painful stuff these days comes just as NFL free agency is about to commence and the new salary cap enforced.
I will always be a team guy more than a player guy. If my guy goes, my fandom will remain with my team. This is not the world we live in today because everyone wants to follow their boy, their guy, their dawg!
Give me my team.
I’ve written quite a bit on how the NFL dominates everything. I’ve said a lot about how bad the NBA is. I’ve shared I’m only into the NHL during the playoffs—if the Kings are playing. I gave up on the Olympics when the Soviets went away.
And I’ve chimed on and on about how brain-dead the MLB is…but…
…When Spring Training rolls around, baseball goes from a dormant virus in my soul to fully active with all the obvious symptoms. A need for grass (not to smoke), a preference for sunshine (but not the beach), the nostalgic smell of a mitt (only mine), and a craving for Scully (the fourth person in the Trinity).
The Cactus League, yeah, that league’s alright.
This will be hard for Lakers fans to digest…but…you didn’t win a title in 2020. You won a tournament.
Yes, I know it’s labeled an NBA title, but the back half of the 2020 season was played in a bubble. No travel, same court, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis had four months off. The idea that you won a title is fool’s gold.
Jeanie and friends hung the banner and then doubled down by allowing LeBron to flex his GM muscle. And that’s how you get, presently, the oldest, slowest, and poorest motivated team in the NBA.
Through two episodes, I’ve seen John C. Reilly’s butt and an insanely, unbalanced, paranoid “Jerry West” having graphic sex with a stranger. And also the maligning and reduction of Chick Hearn as a coffee fetching caricature.
Kiss my mask on that!
Just like you can’t rewrite Civil War history because too many people are familiar with it. Just like you can’t rework Tolkein because too many people have read about Middle Earth. You can’t jack with Chick Hearn—the basketball equivalent of Scully—because legitimate Laker fans will curse you.
Trusting HBO to tell the story about the Lakers run in the 1980s…It is like trusting a Satanist to tell the story about Jesus.
Back to cut-downs, losses, and cap casualties.
The Rams’ actions from Monday to Tuesday involved Andrew Whitworth, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Johnny Hekker.
Whitworth’s departure comes with gratitude, Hekker’s comes with a tinge of sadness, but Joseph-Day’s signing with the Chargers is the most significant. With so much depth along the line and the solid play of Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson, Joseph-Day was a goner.
I wish they could have kept him, but I’ll take the compensatory pick the Rams get in return. As well as the compensatory pick the Rams will get for Austin Corbett’s signing with the Panthers.
And the compensatory pick they’ll get for Ogbo Okoronkwo signing with Houston.
Last Add Whitworth: Stay in shape.
Who would I love to see win the NCAA tourney? USC, Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, and, always, Villanova.
Who do I think is going to win the tournament? I’ll tell you when it’s over.
The Dude abides…
2 Corinthians 10:5
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…and, the recently released, “Sin Virus.” All six available through Amazon.com.
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