Wide World of Balls

Goldwater Hates Hockey

By Walter Peyton Place

We understand what happened. Your lobster boat capsized and you’ve been stuck off the far shores of Maine since this past Tuesday and have no idea what’s going on in the NFL, in baseball, basketball, hockey, or any other sports, which apparently people also play (e.g. leisure wrestling). But you have a big meeting with the boss tomorrow and need to talk about his favorite team to get that raise. Don’t worry! Here’s everything important that happened in every sport last week. If it’s not in here, it’s unathletic.

NBA: 
- The conference finals are underway. Hooray! Only six more weeks until the NBA finals. How’d we get here? LeBron James and Dwyane Wade finally realized they’re elite and beat Indiana. The Heat now face the Celtics, who took seven games to beat an eight-seed. That should never happen! But it did, and Ray Allen may never get over it.

- Miami should win, since they’re the better, faster team whose players dress better. The Celtics already lost Game 1, but can push it to six if Rajon Rondo shoots incredibly well and Paul Pierce finds his lucky athletic supporter (he lost it drinking).

- The Spurs and Thunder got it started, and the series has been and will continue to be about 1,000 times less boring than any of the Eastern Conference games (ever). I said the Spurs rule, and the stat nerds have my back.

- The fact that the Thunder is a very good team is no surprise. This is both good for its basketball operations department and bad for Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, who owns 19.2 percent of the team and is currently getting shit upon by the New York City Pensions fund for spending too much money on basketball and not on whatever weird drilling his company does. The fund holds 1.9 million Chesapeake shares, and they consider McClendon’s increased expenditure on the team, which includes three-ply toilet paper and the expensive celebratory balloons, a possible conflict of interest during Chesapeake’s cash flow shortfall. Basically, this is like the gross round dude who lives on your block spending all of his money on Giants jerseys and then getting evicted, except replace the street with a mansion, the Giants jerseys with Aramark compensation packages, and getting evicted with getting a slap on the wrist.

- Metta World Peace got his government holidays mixed up.

- Adam Morrison, seen looking all sorts of fly in this photo last week, wins the coveted Sam Reiss Finest Athletic Hair of the Week Award. His prize is a one-week reprieve of the shame he no doubt feels by being Adam Morrison.

NFL:
- NFL owners are going to make knee, leg, and thigh pads mandatory for 2013, and the NFL Players’ Association isn’t immediately down with it. For them it’s a change to working conditions, since kneepads = working conditions. What’s wrong with these pads?

- Mark Sanchez smoked Tim Tebow in offseason team activities, throwing six touchdowns in only five passes. If you’re not familiar, OTAs are to regular season games as this column is to the collected works of William Gaddis. Tebow was pretty bummed by his performance—three interceptions, some light crying, and he slipped on a banana peel. So he cut his daily visit to the Parsippany children’s hospital to just three hours.

Baseball:
- The Yankees were apparently for sale, and then they weren’t, and then the reporter who reported that they were said he didn’t hear anything “substantive” but that it was more than just rumors. So, in summation, the Yankees are theoretically and abstractly for sale in the sense that ever-appreciating one-of-a-kind crown jewel properties are always in demand.

- Curt Schilling, the bloody sock pitcher dude, Republican super stumper, ESPN talking head, former 1993 Philly, and video game company chief, made news two weeks ago when his company couldn’t cover a $1.12 million loan payment to the Rhode Island government. He hates government loans! Then, abruptly, Schilling shitcanned everyone. It’s pretty nuts.

- Hideki Matsui should rejoin the Rays on Tuesday. He has an insane porno collection (work safe), which he hopefully shares with Manny Ramirez, who has a (slim) chance to rejoin the A’s this week himself. I am assuming they are already best friends; that’s why it won’t be weird.

NHL:
- The Rangers were shut down by the Devils in six games, proving that New Jersey is the better state. In unrelated news, money is stupid, hamburgers are disgusting, and the best band in music right now are those two terrible people who play kazoo Beyonce covers in car commercials.

- No less of an authority than the Goldwater Institute, the venerable/extreme right/creepy/snappy taxpayer watchdog group, sounded off against the amount of money Glendale is paying to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix. Specifically, that the “arena management fee is legally questionable if it is far greater than the value of the services to be provided.“ Since it’s a stadium, the value of services will probably be incredibly low, the government will lose money, and the Goldwater Institute will be like, “see, I told you this would happen.” Though a Barry Goldwater statue outside the stadium—preferably with him fighting off some public school teachers—would be a nice touch.

Soccer:
- Juventus coach Antonio Conte—unfortunately, no known relation to Stan or Victor—is under investigation for what a (probably) fiery Italian prosecutor called “doing some straight shady shit” when he was a coach of Siena during the 2010-2011 season. It’s a scandal mostly since Juventus didn’t do anything wrong here, and they usually do.

@samreiss_

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