Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lodo Grdzak's Sportin' Life: NBA Playoffs, Bernard Hopkins, and The End of the World

46 year-old, Light-Heavyweight Champion of the World: Bernard Hopkins (52 wins; 5 losses; 2 draws. 34 knockouts).

Chauncey Billups:

Worlds Fastest Man: Usain Bolt

Shaq and Jason Kidd a million years ago: "You hate a guy season after season; but after awhile they're the familiar villain from all those games you watched with your buds..."

Sean Penn/Scarlett Johannsen:

As I approach 45 years on this planet, its a safe bet that I’m slightly past the mid-point of my life. Course that assumes I’m not gonna have a heart attack or get cancer--two pretty big ifs based on my lifestyle and temperament. But absent any serious speed bumps, I passed my life’s intermission a few years ago.

I wish I were more excited about the 2nd half of my physical existence; but as I prepare to leave (or lose) yet another job and note the modern state of my country and species, its a little difficult for me to wave the pennant of humanity and yell rah rah rah. Its more like blah blah blah. I was more than prepared for the world to end last week.

But I guess its up to me to find happiness. I didn’t start my blog to be a downer. I’m 40+ years old. White. American, in good health. What exactly are my complaints again?

I suppose I could name a few if I wanted to nitpick.

One of my biggest complaints is that I wasn’t born Lebron James. Or Dirk Nowitzki. That’s gonna be the first thing I mention to my creator if and when we meet. How come you didn’t make me one of those guys? ‘Cause whatever you had in mind with me, people are not getting it!

Along with boxing, NBA basketball’s my favorite sport; and this year the quality of the NBA really improved. Chauncey Billups is my favorite player--even if he is getting old; so now that the Knick’s have got him I have something to look forward to the next 2-3 years of my life. Not much else about my future excites me. But Chauncey and I can age together here in New York.

When I watch NBA Playoffs, I sometimes get jealous of the players. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose. So much talent and money. So many hot babes. Plus the joy of competition on an international stage. Going for greatness and eventually reaching it.

That is, if you’re Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They’re the only ones who are really gonna reach it, by which I mean the championship. Those guys might be 3 of the Top 10 athletes in the world. Lebron is for sure. I suppose a few soccer players are probably up there. And Usain Bolt of course.

I assume Lebron and Dwyane Wade are gonna win it all, but I guess I wouldn’t mind if Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki became champions. I’ve watched those guys for a lot of years; and even though I never rooted for either of ‘em, I have a soft-spot for the older guys. Even guys I hated, which is a phenomenon in sports and pop culture. You hate a guy season after season; but after awhile they’re the familiar villain from all those games you watched with your buds. You have a shared history. You know their story.

So when that old nemesis is matched-up against the new kid on the block you might suddenly find yourself rooting for Shaq or Iverson or even (to my amazement earlier this season) Kobe.

At this point in my life, the closest I’m probably going to get to greatness is to watch others pursue it. My day has come and gone along with the Walkman, the VHS player, Sugar Shane Mosely, and scripted TV. I had my chance to go for it.

But there’s still a few guys out there who give me hope. Jeff Beck’s close to 70 but he’s better than ever. And I love the way he always has a chick in his band now--Jennifer Batten; Tal Wilkenfeld; Imogen Heap; Imelda May; Rhonda Smith. Couple hot one’s in there for sure. Just how I’d do it.

41 year old Jay-Z is still going strong; 38 year old Eminem’s last record went # 1 right away; and 52 year old Sean Penn’s allegedly banging young and fine Scarlett Johannsen. So maybe I have a few good lays/days in front of me after all.

And of course we can’t forget my man Bernard Hopkins, who not only beat 28 year-old Jean Pascal to become champion of the world last Saturday, but had the audacity to do push-ups between rounds. When I saw that, I jumped out my chair and fist pumped--bad back and all. 46 years old and the guy’s still going for greatness. Still winning championships. Still reaching higher.

Maybe there’s a reason to tune in for Part 2 after all.

* NOTE: All pics posted at top were stolen off Google Images and are most likely subject to copyright.