Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vox in the Box (6)


Hi, I'm Magic Johnson. Buckle up Ohio. Lots 2 say 2day.

Maintenance first. The national-bias against Cleveland is always full-tilt when one of our teams is in the payoff. There are more than a few hoop analysts that ate shitburgers for an after-game snack, and I'm not really interested in burying all of them. Just Chuck Barkley and Kenny "If we both stopped for gas" Smith. After the first-half ended, instead of analyzing the half-- as Barkley is paid to do-- the first thing out of Chuck's idiot mouth is how the Pistons are worried that the Heat are taking care of New Jersey too quickly and will be able to rest. Yes, the Heat. I'm speechless. Unbelievable.

Let's talk about gambling. At the end of Game 1, I was hoping Roit would really pile on us. Because the bigger the blowout, the bigger the spread for Game 2. We all know the Game 2 spread was 11.5 points. I let my wine and greed-colored glasses blind me and I split my wager between the money line and that ridiculous spread. So I broke even. But the smart gamblers knew damn well 11.5 points is way too much for a playoff game and they got paid. I wasn't planning on betting the game tonight, but I logged on to Sportsbook and saw the Cavs were getting 7.5 points. I was shocked. Getting 7.5 points at home is just like 11.5 on the road. Tell me, how are the Cavs seven and a half point dogs in a home playoff game two days after we beat Detroit? So, of course, I parlayed the points and the under (thank you Jeff Benton at vegasadvisors.com) for $20 to win $51.38...and, since the Tribe was no-actioned and I was feeling frisky, I took the $33 I had originally bet on them and let it ride on the Cavs +255 money line to win $84.15. I'm sorry, but the Cavs getting 7.5 points in a home playoff game is completely laughable. But that's why I love gambling. Because the oddsmakers didn't make that spread. The Stupid-Ass American Public made that spread. The Same Stupid-Ass American Public that re-elected George Bush, made Desperate Housewives a hit and thinks John Madden is a great analyst . We sometimes forget that the oddsmakers don't give a fuck about an accurate line; they just want the bettors' money laid evenly. So perception becomes reality. And when the line moves like that, great handicappers will pounce.

Clevelanders this morning are thrilled to be tied at two. I'm disappointed. I honestly felt we'd be up 3-1 after 4 games....and we'd close out Roit at their place in Game 5. And I blame the NBA. You don't schedule a road Game 1 just thirty some hours after a team played a road Game 6. I realize you deserve an advantage if you take care of business early, but the Pistons ended their first round series only one game before we did. Our series against the Bullets was emotional, hard-fought, and we played back-to-back OT games. So you knew the Cavs wouldn't compete in Game 1. If the NBA learns how to schedule, I know we'd have won a game in the Palace. That feat will have to wait until Wednesday.

Let's talk about Roit (And keep talking Rasheed. You're better amunition than Coach Jordan.). I'm not impressed. Remember, we beat them twice in a row without our second-best player and best defender. Rip had 30 points...believe me, he doesn't get 30 with LHughes chasing him around curls and screens. I've always thought highly of Billups. But he's not Bron. Or Kobe. Or Tim Duncan. Or even Steve Nash. Again, Roit has no Gilbert Arenas. The Wizards scared me to death with their knack for pure offensive explosions (that's why I picked SVAC to win that series in 7). The Wizards play so dumb, they're good. I was holding on for dear life during our tango with them. But I'm filled with a zen-like calmness against Roit. I know, if the game is close, we'll pull it out....because Jesus is dressed in blue, wine and gold. I don't sweat Prince, the Wallace Bros. or even Billups. Rip scares me, though. I'll never forget how he abused the Buckeyes in the 1999 Final 4. (By the way, Vox doesn't feel like looking up Flip Saunders' career playoff record, but we know it's not good.)

For me, the turning point of this Cavalier franchise came during Game 3 in Warshington. The Bullets owned us in the second half of Game 2 and were out-playing us all Game 3 with their strategy of running guys at Bron and making him pick up his dribble at the top of the key. The Cavs are down four with a minute or so to play, and Bron finds himself in that very position and the shot clock winding down. Somehow, he fires an almost impossible backhand pass to Z under the basket between two defenders. I couldn't believe my fucking eyes. It was at that moment that LeBron graduated to the playoffs, and he was on his way to adding to his legend with two Travalier (hey Bullet fans-- I have that copyrighted!) playoff game winners in his first payoff series. And nothing has shocked me since.
I'm not wrong often when it comes to SVAC, but it looks like I was mistaken in my belief that making the playoffs last year would be beneficial for us. LeBron sure didn't need a tune-up. When God parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Jews, there was no dress rehearsal. It just happened, and the chosen Hebrews marched triumphantly to the promised land while the evil Egyptians drown helplessly.

If you were hoping for a Ran-dumb Top Ten, you're in luck. I think I can squeeze one outta me before I make a sandwich.
But first, has anyone else caught ESPN's two promos for the World Cup? Best commercials I have ever seen. One uses Streets as a backdrop; the other uses City of Blinding Lights-- both feature a narration by Bono illustrating the global importance of the Cup with his perfect prose.

My Top 10 Television Shows Of All Time:
1. The Sopranos: You can look forward to a future Vox devoted to everything Soprano at the end of season six. All I can say for now is Tony Soprano is America, fat with johnycakes and moral relativism.
2. Six Feet Under: Achieved television nirvana during season three. They couldn't sustain it and butchered the final two seasons, but the last fifteen minutes of the final episode was the greatest ending to a show ever. It even inspires me to predict my own demise: SamVox, December 1974- January 2047.
3. Sesame Street: I do vividly recall my attachment to this show, but according to my parents I was obsessed with it. Kevin recently told me they sold Cookie Monster out to health foods, and it's been bothering me ever since. I look forward to reuniting with the show in two years or so.
4. Hogan Knows Best. Just Kidding. But I think that might be my favorite reality show. Actually #4 is Beavis and Butthead. It's difficult for a television show to truly make me laugh. This show did it every night. Not just with Beavis and Butthead, but the supporting cast-- Van Driesen, McVickers, Todd, Stuart's Mom. Dream on.
5. Taxi: The best sit-com ever. Andy Kauffman as Latka Gravas. Christopher Lloyd as Jim Engletowski. Enough said.
6. Family Ties: Epic adolescent moment #1 for me: Alex P. Keaton dancing with Ellen to the Billy Vera classic, "At this Moment." Michael J. Fox marries Ellen in real life and the show jumps the shark when a pre-boob-job Courtney Cock takes Ellen's place and Andy goes from 6 months to 5 years old overnight. War Tina Yothers.
7. Cheers: Sammy gets the bar back, Kevin McHale counting bolts on the Garden floor, Cliff Claven on jeopardy and all those people who've never been in his kitchen, and the hilarious battles with Gary and The Olde Towne Tavern. They always had the better bloody Mary
8. My So Called Life: We all have gay moments. I had 19 of them during So Called's only season spanning fall 1994 to spring 95. It was a great day at 49 Chittenden when MTV aired the reruns.
9. The Dukes of Hazzard. I know this guy named Avery who will happily tell you the story of how I quit baseball because the games were on friday night and I didn't want to miss this show. Even at seven years old, I was trash.
10. Carnivale: A rare monumental mistake by BO, pulling the plug on this masterpiece. War Brother Justin. War Samson, not everything on him is small.

when the president talks to God
does he fake that drawl or merely nod?
agree which convicts should be killed?
where prisons should be built and filled?
which voter fraud must be concealed?
when the president talks to God?

when the president talks to God
does he ever think that maybe he's not?
that that voice is just inside his head
when he kneels next to the presidential bed
does he ever smell his own bullshit?
when the president talks to God?

I doubt it.
I doubt it.

I am Connor Oberst in this box.

Goodnight Mr. Walters- uh-uhhh. Parting is inevitable.