Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Series of Unfortunate Basketball Games: Game the Fourth by Limey Gin Gimlet


Solemn strategy making
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
If you are the sort of person who enjoys reading heartwarming stories about sports teams who beat the odds and win their matches in the final moments of an athletic competition, then you had better click away from this blog and perhaps go relive the story of the 2005 Chicago White Sox. This is because there has been no such game ending for the Milwaukee Bucks during this season, and not very many heartwarming and happy things are happening to them. The Milwaukee Bucks are intelligent players, resourceful, and talented, and they have pleasant facial features, but as of late, they have been extremely unlucky, and most everything that has happened to them has been rife with misfortune. I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the season has been going.

This evening's series of unfortunate events began with a rendition of their country's National Anthem performed by a brass choir from a local high school, which I, your faithful and devoted chronicler of events, did not happen to catch the name of. This is probably fortunate for this particular high school brass choir, as they appeared to have attempted an arrangement which was beyond their level of competency, a word here which means "playing unusual chord arrangements which would befit highly skilled musicians of the sort Lawrence Welk would employ." No, I'm sorry to report that while the Lawrence Welk orchestra might have succeeded with an odd, laid-back white-bread Bing Crosby rendition of a wartime fight anthem, these high school students ended up sounding like they were making numerous errors in tone and dynamics. And unfortunately for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball players, they seemed to have set an off-key tone for the entire evening.


This sad tale of woe picks up from a previous sad tale of woe, with the story of the eldest (or at least most successful) Milwaukee Bucks basketball player, Michael Redd. Michael Redd is a basketball player whose strength lies in multiple field goals, but not even Michael's success in this portion of the game would be enough to save his team from misery and woe. For just a few days ago, Michael broke the scoring record of an even more famous Milwaukee Bucks basketball player, Mr. Abdul-Jabbar (who was called "Lew Alcindor" when he was a Milwaukee Bucks basketball player). On this particular evening, after the miserable rendition of the anthem, the fans of the Milwaukee Bucks, in an attempt to "look at the bright side" of the previous series of Unfortunate Basketball Games, had chosen to honor Michael by giving him the game ball from the game where he broke Mr. Alcindor's record by scoring 57 points against the Utah Jazz the other night. However, Michael is a realist, and accepted his award humbly, a word here which means "This record breaking thing is all well and good but we still lost the game against Utah that night."

And then the team players were announced and the basketball teams played. And it began wonderfully and heartwarmingly. For there was a young player from Turkey named Ersan Ilyasova, and Ersan was quick and fleet of foot, and for his very first time as a starter, he aimed for the basket and succeeded in scoring a 3-point shot. This is a wonderful heartwarming story of a 19-year old basketball player from a far away land who is making it big in the United State of America's National Basketball Association. Usually Basketball Players have to go to college to pretend that they are earning College Degrees before they are allowed to play in the National Basketball Association. While they may not learn about Quantum Physics or Communication Studies or Businss Administration or any of the other supposed fields of study that are offered by colleges participating in the National Collegiate Athletic Association sports contests, they do learn abut how to deal with big crowds of people and sports writers who spend entirely too much time and money on something that is supposed to be "just a game." But sometimes basketball players do not finish their college degrees. For instance, you may have heard the story of a basketball player named Shaquille O'Neal. Shaquille is a very good basketball player who learned all about dealing with lots of pressure before he was even close to receiving a College Diploma in something like 17th Century British Literature. So Shaquille quit college and for this was paid even more money than any of the Colleges could slip him under the table. But Ersan did not go to an American College in the NCAA at all. So Ersan still needs to learn how to deal with playing under pressure, something that even 19 year old American College students in the NCAA are not very good at. But it is my sad duty to report that the only reason the Ersan even had to opportunity to start and make his first three-point shot was that while Michael was scoring 57 points against Utah, their teammate Charlie Villanueva was spraining his elbow and won't be able to help his team for several weeks, a very unfortunate thing for the Milwaukee Bucks Basketball players, indeed.


Ladies and Gentlemen, USHER!
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
Things seemed to be very happy at halftime. The Bucks Basketball Players were leading by 15 at halftime, and a very famous musician was in the audience plugging his philanthropy, and perhaps scouting out the team. The famous musician's name was Usher, and he is part owner of one of the Bucks' rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, he was also in the audience to call attention to his work with unfortunate children, so that they may not be so unfortunate, and there were some fortunate fans who got to receive copies of this famous musician's CD's. And some fortunate people might have mistaken Usher's companions to be some famous football players. But after the famous musician was pointed out and people listened to how wonderful he was for working with the unfortunate children, he seemed to have slipped away and was not to be seen again during the night.

And, it would appear to be that when the famous musician slipped away, so did the chances of the Milwaukee Basketball Team to secure a win this evening, or for the Milwaukee Bucks Announcer to pronounce the name of Indiana's Sarunas Jasickevicius the same way more than once. But by the end of the 4th quarter, the basketball team found themselves in a very unfortunate situation indeed. By the end of the quarter, there were four seconds left, they were down by two, and the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team used a time out to assess their situation and determine a course of action that would result in a happy ending. All they needed to do was make sure that Michael, or even their other star player-- Andrew Bogut -- would get the ball on the outside of the "three point line." And this they did, they did get the ball to Andrew, so that Andrew could take a shot and get three points and win the game.


Now, at this point in the story, I feel obliged to interrupt and give you one last warning. As I said at the very beginning of this blog entry, the blog entry you have clicked on doesn't have a happy ending. It may appear that Ersan got the ball, and passed it to Andrew, and that Andrew will have happened to throw the ball into the basket, and that the buzzer would go off and everybody in the stands would stand and cheer for the Basketball Team. If you like, you may click away from this blog entry this instant and not read the unhappy ending that is to follow. You may instead wish to read the story of the time the Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Team played this very same team from Indiana last year, and hit this very same shot under very similar conditions, and won the game. I would not blame you for even so much as an iota of a second if you were to do this.

But, I have made it my sworn duty to record here the sad, woeful, unfortunate and desperate story of the Milwaukee Bucks Basketball team, and I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but Ersan did indeed throw the ball to Andrew. But Ersan, because he was not as experienced as a basketball player who holds a College Diploma in Political Science, choked, a word here which means "dribbled a little too long than he needed to" -- and by the time he passed the ball to Andrew, Andrew did not have enough time to get the ball out of his hands before the buzzer went off.

And so ends this unfortunate blog entry, as the basketball team sulked off to prepare for yet another contest against the Indiana Basketball Team, this time at the Indiana Basketball Team's home turf, a phrase here which means "stadium full of screaming fans who want nothing more than to see the Milwaukee Basketball Team lose and will do everything they can to effect this outcome."

In addition, as your faithful blogger must sorrowfully report, she and her husband, disempowered by their obvious disappointment in this series of Unfortunate Basketball games, had to walk an inordinately long way to their vehicle to begin their journey home. This would not have been as unfortunate as it would have seemed, except that your blogger's husband was suffering from a hairline leg fracture which made a normally reasonable walk a difficult one. We could have parked closer, as there were spaces available for "compact cars only," but we chose to respect that restriction for compact cars, as we drive a station wagon. However, as you can see, the phrase "compact" is a word here which means "anything smaller than a Hummer or perhaps an aircraft carrier" since apparently the Ford Expedition is now considered a "compact" car.

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