Thursday, May 29, 2008


There are many things in life we could all live without, seeing a Celtics/Lakers finals however, is not one of those things. If you were born after June of 1987, you may have come to the conclusion that you'd never get to witness a NBA Finals of these epic proportions. The Bad Boy Pistons, The Jordan Years, Clutch City, Jordan Returns, Shaq's prime, Duncan's Quiet Dynasty, Bad Boys part II, and finally Dwayne Wade on fire, that is what we have lived through since the last Celtics v. Lakers finals. The prodigal series is on the cusp of a return and at last the NBA is BACK . . . . with authority.

They'll be no brawls, no Larry Legend, and no "Show Time" in 2008. Don't fret, because they'll be plenty to witness with the likes of Bean Bryant, The Truth, and Kevin Garnett. The greatest fans on the planet in Boston and the most famous fans on the planet in Los Angeles. When I write Monday afternoon I'll either be the most delighted sports fans around or the most pissed off member of fandom you know. Get yourself prepared for the showdown; I'll help.

Paul Pierce will be the next Boston Celtic to be have his number hoisted to the rafters, whether he has won a championship or not. The effort from Pierce in game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals was nothing short of amazing, not the first time we've seen this from Pierce. For you bandwagon riders, let me take you back to 2002 (insert dream sequence background music) Paul Pierce hoisted the likes of Tony Battie & Erik Williams on his back and carried the Celts to a Game 3 Eastern Conference finals victory, after outscoring the Nets 41-16 in the final quarter. In a disappointing series Pierce's play fell into the NBA abyss, after being resuscitated in 2008, he might just have his day. If anyone would be able to take the Celtics to the most daunted banner #17, it's Pierce.

Did we forget about the Phil Jackson/Red Auerbach rivalry? All due respect to Arnold, but Phil winning his 10Th championship ring against the franchise that Red built, that's drama. Red stands alone, but Phil Jacksons success with 2008 Lakers may be the best of all his runs. My fellow Celtic fans won't be thinking of anything else when Kobe misses a shot to win the championship while in the Garden II, the camera flashes to #2 in the rafters and chills run down my spine. The ghosts of Red or the mystique of the Zen Master, don't get much better than that my friends.

The validation of one Kobe Bryant will be RIGHT NOW. With Kobe inching closer and closer to his 4Th ring and 1st without Shaq, we've been forced to really ask the question, is Kobe in the conversation, the answer? Yes. Kobe Bryant's transformation into the ultimate closer in the NBA has been fascinating. The same guy we witnessed score 81 points in a game is now looking for the next pass to get his teammates involved. That same guy is looking to veteran point guard Derek Fisher for advice. Now that he's got Phil on his side and it's scary, when the San Antonio Spurs, the 4-time champion Spurs, admit that Kobe can just "take over" you know he's in their head. Kobe Bryant holding another trophy in his hands at the end of June would cap off an MVP season. A season in which we finally admit that despite what we think of Kobe as a person, you can't touch him on the basketball court.

Can Kevin Garnett shake off the playoff demons? For a guy who struggled for so long in the playoffs, Garnett is poised to take the ultimate stage and no one is more excited than him. Garnett's game plan in the finals will be classified in one word, two syllables, NASTY. While were on the subject, is there anyone you'd be more scared off when he's in the zone? A man who is willing to inflict punches to his own head at the free throw line, shouldn't think twice about inflicting them on you. As much as Barkley wanted to win a ring, KG wants it that much more.

I understand that all of this will be moot if the Celtics lose it in Game 7 and or the Lakers somehow crash and burn, but to completely ignore what is on the horizon is ludicrous, not the rapper. GAME ON.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Rose for The Windy City

By now you know I'm a draft junkie, with the exception of the military draft, I'm all about drafts. NBA, NFL, playground touch football, it's for me and I don't deny it. With the NBA draft looming over the playoffs and the Celtics on an off day, all efforts are diverted to Rose v. Beasley.

Gas prices dropping below $3.00 a gallon and the Chicago Bulls getting the #1 pick overall were equally unlikely three weeks ago. Today, a week after the NBA draft lottery, the Bulls are picking #1 and we here in the Northeast are bordering on paying $4.00 a gallon by weeks end, I would have rathered the reverse but oh well. With the Bulls in the draft drivers seat things have become a little more interesting than we thought they would. Bulls owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, along with general manager John Paxton are left with a very tough decision ahead of them.

Given the current landscape in the NBA along with the recent play of all-star point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul, the Bulls should follow suit right? Maybe not, with Chicago native and Calipari coached, Derrick Rose sitting there it will be very hard for Da Bulls to pass on him. On the other hand, Kansas State phenom Michael Beasley, who has been the wire to wire top player in the 2008 NBA draft class since last October, is also more than qualified for the top pick. So the question remains, who do the Chicago Bulls draft with the top selection?

The Cases:

For Derrick Rose, the case is an easy one. The 6-3 point guard led the Memphis Tigers to an impressive 38-2 record while averaging 15 points and 5 assists a game. In his one year at Memphis, Rose was selected by the AP as a third team All-American whose stock rose (lame pun, I know) after a sensational post season tournament run. Dropping 20 ppg in the tournament, including 25 against UCLA, 27 against Michigan State, and 21 against Texas, three of the tournaments top teams, Rose was dominating. His size (at 6-3 & 205 lbs.) is comparable to NBA all-stars Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, and Chauncey Billups. The downside of the Bulls selecting Rose is that they currently are locked into guard Kirk Hinrich for 36.5 million dollars over the next 4 years, a contract few teams would take on. Adding a guard like Rose to a team consisting of Luol Deng and swing man Ben Gordon could be deadly in the Eastern Conference. Then again . . .

Michael Beasley does exist, and is more than a force to be reckoned with. The first team All-American scored under 20 points only 6 times this season, averaging an amazing 27 points a game in his freshman season at Kansas State. The monster 6-10 forward grabbed 12+ boards a game while shooting .379 from behind the arc. A Bulls team that certainly needs help on the glass would benefit from Beasley's ability to get to the rack. Against Kansas, the eventual National Champion, Beasley averaged 32 ppg and 9 boards, impressive to say the least for a freshman. Paired with the 6-9 Luol Deng, Beasley at 6-10 would be able to dominate inside. The focus on Beasley allows Gordon to get more open looks from Hinrich and gives Joakim Noah room to play like he did at Florida. Problem child, Tyrus Thomas, coming off the bench and Andres Nocioni with his 13 ppg who would be the odd man out gives the Bulls a stronger bench, provided Hinrich stays healthy.

At first, I was all over Derrick Rose with this #1 pick, he's a Chicago native with tremendous upside. He gives you strength at the guard spot, capable of scoring in big games, and a quality duo with Ben Gordon. However, at second look Michael Beasley is a can't miss player, an awesome athlete with great scoring ability. The bottom line is the bottom line, you can't move Hinrich and get much in return, with Beasley adding a huge component to the Bulls it may be a no-brainer. Beasley to the Bulls, kudos to my buddies Chandler & Roche for being the first to call it. Nuff Said.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thanks Jon . . .

Last summer as Jon Lester made his comeback to the big leagues after defeating cancer, I wrote about how incredibly inspirational Lester has been to the fans who were watching him. Tonight after Jon Lester threw a no-hitter in just his 37th career start, I thought rather than talk about his bid, I would repost what I posted back then. Enjoy:

With all the Michael Vick's and Tim Donaghy's of the world, professional sports is looking worse by the day. But last night with the bases loaded in the 5th inning, hanging on to a 5-2 lead with Indians phenom Grady Sizemore at the plate, I saw one of the greatest professional sports moments of my life: cancer survivor and Red Sox left hander, Jon Lester, in his first game back with the big club threw a strike past Sizemore to end the inning. His mother, who could barely watch, jumped with excitement as her son pumped his fist on the mound. The camera immediately flashed to his parents to see the elation in their faces. It wasn't the athletes gorgeous actress wife, the Hollywood actor who got front row tickets just for showing up, or the director who lives and dies with every move the team he worships makes. It was the parents who just watched their son go through the horrors of cancer treatment and months later was on a big league mound striking out the best ball players in the world... that's who the cameras flashed to. That's who we should always see on the other end of the lens; and from time to time, we forget that.

To me, watching Jon Lester's parents cheer for him was more exciting than the actual game he was participating in. They were on the edge of their seats the whole night. They were as nervous for him as he was for himself, and would you expect anything less? I was dying for SportsCenter to play an elongated piece about how everything happened for this young man, but instead the question of the night was who has a tougher job: Bud Selig, David Stern, or Roger Godell? A cancer survivor stands on the mound in Cleveland ready to take the stage he took a year ago when he was diagnosed, and we are talking about dog fighting, point shaving, and steroids? Maybe cancer holds a place near and dear to my heart because of how it affects the people around me, but name me the person who says this shouldn't be a bigger story than what sick sh*t Michael Vick does in the off season, and I'll debate him till I'm blue in the face.

I don't want to continue to rant so I won't, but I want to say congratulations to the Lester family, and especially Jon. Anyone who has ever been touched by cancer knows that to see a man do what he has done gives you hope and is an inspiration to all of us. Thanks Jon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Desperate Yet?

Call me crazy, but I think that Lebron's feeling of desperation has sunk in by this morning. Fifteen minutes after the Cavaliers had gone down 3-2 in their best of seven series with the Boston Celtics, he seemed calmer than ever. If you didn't hear the quote, it went like this: (Lebron, speaking in the third person) "A Lebron James team is never desperate." That quote was in response to the question of Lebron and the Cavs being desperate for a win in the upcoming game six. It's now Monday, May 19th, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are officially out of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. I have just one question for him... desperate yet?

After Paul Pierce dispatched of James and the Cavs to the tune of a 41 point performance, I think it is time we put the Lebron James for President of the World campaign to bed.

Not Michael, Kobe, or Magic have an ego as large as Lebron's, and for the record they have 14 rings between them. The most obnoxious thing about him is the size of his ego. An Eastern Conference championship in 2007, then getting your a** kicked in the finals doesn't allow you to begin referencing yourself in the third person. The Terminator, Ricky Henderson, and Snoop Dogg are the only people who should be excused for referring to themselves in the third person. Cleveland Cavaliers fans have got to be the most pathetic fans on the planet. They are in awe of Lebron to the extent that they excuse ALL of the following:

While all eyes in Ohio (his home state) were focused on their Indians playing the Yankees in the playoffs last fall, Lebron James enters Progressive Field (formerly Jacobs Field) wearing a New York Yankees ball cap. Maybe he is a fan of the Yanks, maybe he was making a fashion choice, or maybe he just had a bad hair day, but none of those things excuse that. You wouldn't see Paul Pierce at a Red Sox game wearing a Yanks cap -- that, my friends, I'm sure of. The Akron, Ohio native chooses to A: make himself the center of attention while the Indians are trying to win a championship (something Lebron has yet to do) And he B: completely dogged the same Cleveland fans who pay good money to watch him play 41 home games a year in that city.

He was probably saying to himself: "Lebron can wear any hat, Lebron loves the Yankees. Maybe Lebron will get to host the ESPY's again; Lebron like that."

The day after Mother's Day '08, Lebron was fouled hard after going to the basket by Celtic Paul Pierce. When his mother, who was sitting close by, came to the rescue of her baby boy, Lebron, who once uttered the quote "I wish I could sit here and give you words to describe what my mother means to me. There aren't enough words in the dictionary. I don't know how she did it," turned and hurled expletives at her that went something like this:

"Mom, sit down and get in your F****** seat before Lebron come over there and put you in your F***** seat. LEBRON's a man he doesn't need a F***** mother, LEBRON will take away your season F***** tickets."

Okay, so he didn't go that far but then again I'm trying to make a point. Judge a man by the way he treats his mother.

Finally, the BIGGEST oversight by the Cleveland faithful. New Jersey Nets part-owner, Sean Carter a.k.a. Jay-Z (who has been rumored to be interested in moving the Nets from Jersey to Brooklyn in the near future) has been courting the NBA superstar for years, and Lebron has embraced it. An obvious sign that the Cavs and the state of Ohio will get completely snubbed when Lebron becomes a free agent. His ego is already bursting out of Ohio and into New York. If the Cavaliers think that adding the likes of Delonte West, the shell of Ben Wallace, and Joe Smith with 1 good knee, is enough to keep Lebron happy, they've completley lost their minds. From day one in the NBA, he has made it clear this isn't just about basketball for him; this is about becoming a self-proclaimed "global icon." NEWSFLASH: Global Icons come from cities like New York and Los Angeles, not Cleveland. It'll be a lot easier for Jay-Z and the Nets to get an approval to Brooklyn if they've gotten Bron Bron on board already. Sorry Cavs fans, you're out.

Lebron speak: "Hova & Lebron is like Sunny & Cher... the basketball version"

Since Lebron James is now at home and no longer in the playoffs, he'll have plenty of time to do guest spots on "How I Met Your mother," maybe even audition for "Dancing With the Stars," and even host the ESPY's again. All things Magic, Michael, and Kobe have yet to to do because they spent their prime winning rings. So Lebron, are you desperate yet?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Don't Get Much Better

The NBA playoffs have been as advertised and I'm here to say; it certainly doesn't get much better than this. With the Celtics shaking impending doom and the quietest dynasty still alive (the San Antonio Spurs for you non-round ball fans) the NBA playoffs are about to explode:

The New Orleans Hornets need to beat the San Antonio Spurs in game 7. If we strip the votes away from all the MVP voters and determine who the MVP is by playing a seven game Lakers v. Hornets Western Conference Final the NBA will benefit drastically. The truth is no one likes to watch the Spurs play, they are boring, methodical, and exhausting. The NBA faithful are dying for a Chris Paul v. Kobe Bryant seven game dog fight. The NBA's most dominant point guard v. the NBA's most dominant player. The likes of Tyson Chandler & David West banging with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, the city of New Orleans with a shot at a professional sports title, what is not to love? The Hornets need to upset the Spurs and make their run at L.A.

You know who cares about Cleveland, people in Ohio the NBA playoffs aren't the Democratic Primaries we don't want or care who people from Cleveland, Ohio want to see in the NBA Finals. In 2007 we saw what happened when Lebron got a shot at the NBA title, the word rhymes with creep. SWEEP! Until the Cavs front office put a legitimate #2 next to Lebron, I don't want to hear it from their fans. Until Scottie played like an All-Star the Bulls didn't win a thing either. Whether it be Detroit or Boston in the Finals, the one thing no one outside of Ohio wants to see is Lebron v. the Lakers or Spurs or Hornets. (even though the Jazz are alive, let's be real David Stern is not letting the Lakers get beat in that series)

Who needs road wins? We are fans at heart right? We love game 7 don't we? So with that said, I don't care if another road team wins a playoff game (if that happened the Celtics would win the NBA Championship, Boo-Yah) Jeff Van Gundy said it best, "we're not really sure why the thunder sticks on the road aren't as loud as they are at home" The fact is teams are just playing looser at home, they feel as though there isn't any pressure on them and in large part your running into teams whose playoff life is on the line if they lose just one. The Magic dropped the 1 home game of the NBA Playoffs second round (home teams are 19-1) and they are the only team to go home thus far. If your down 2-0 you can't go down 3-0 and if your down 3-2 you can't get knocked out, the home team does nothing special they just play alot harder. Case & Point: Game 5 Celtics v. Cavs, Lebron opens up with 23 points and a 14 point lead until the 3rd quarter when Boston puts the clamps on and takes care of business. That's why we play 82 games, to see who gets home court advantage.

Detroit is finally awake An unknown amount of preseason games, 82 regular season games, the first two rounds of the playoffs, and the Detroit Pistons have finally woken up. After slapping Philly back to reality then quickly dismantling Stan Van's Magic, the Detroit Pistons are a Chauncey Billups injury away from being well oiled for their Eastern Conference championship series, which in Detroit has become a staple. The most errrrr unique? player in the NBA, Rasheed Wallace, is laying in the grass waiting to play the Celts. Is their any team in the NBA who has been more underachieving than the Detroit Pistons? If the Pistons put another notch on their dominant Eastern Conference run, it'll be in 2008.

Quick Needed Note: As much as I love the NBA and the playoffs, this post was supposed to be published yesterday, however it didn't make it out and since then the refs & David Stern have forced a Game 7 in Boston and put the Lakers one step closer to the championship. SHOCKER! (sense the sarcasm) While some of my NBA loving friends refuse to believe that the NBA or professional sports for that matter, are in any way fixed, I am not that naive. If any outcome of any sport could be fixed, it's hoops. Refs can control momentum, who stays in the game, and even score. (If you buy that point shaving does take place) I still love basketball despite this, but I'm not going to ignore that from church league basketball all the way to the pros no ref can accurately tell the difference between charging and blocking.

I LOVE THIS GAME!!!!! (credit to whoever made that up)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To Shea & Back

The fourth professional ballpark I've had the pleasure of visiting, Shea Stadium (Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, & the altar otherwise known as Fenway Park being the others) was all things considered, not that bad. A side from the mock Sopranos auditions going on everywhere around me I had a pretty good time. An added bonus of my first ever trip to Flushing, Johan Santana was on the hill. I've gotta admit though this isn't the same guy that went 20-6 with a 2.61 era in 04' then again I was a few pounds lighter and my hair line didn't start as far back so he gets a pass, but I digress.

So we arrived at Shea a little after the first pitch (I admit that might have a little to do with my err celebrating the night before) and were ushered to our seats by a small old man who has been working in Long Island since Shea's inception, that would be in 1964, he was also called "that small old man" back then too. Ahhh nothing like being at a ballpark where the seats fit an averaged size human in 1964, 45 years and two bills heavier, the seats remain the same, comfy. I've been on Long Island for all of 30 minutes and I've seen 139 fake gold chains, on two different people. Words don't even describe the unintentional comedy of this day, but I'm going to do my best, in report card fashion:

Heckling of the visiting team: In Camden Yards the fans barely knew who the Orioles were playing. At Yankee Stadium I was verbally abused by Yankee Fans (I had to be cheering for the Sox), and at the Fens, well I gotta admit they are extremely clever but can get a bit tiring. While at Shea on a Saturday afternoon against one of the worst franchises in sports, the Cincinnati Reds, the Met fans were actually pretty great. Starting in the very 1st inning while Griffey Jr. was settling into right field, one particular Mets fan who was good natured in his heckling of the future Hall of Famer with rants of "I love you, but YOUR FATHER'S BETTER." This continued until midway through the fourth inning when the aforementioned fan was tossed from the game while shouting "Don't touch me" to the five foot tall security guard who took his job entirely to serious, you know like a librarian. Then came the boo birds, enter Mets reliever Aaron Heilman and his near 5.00 era after twenty appearances. Boo them when they suck, cheer them when they succeed, you pay the salary. The Mets fans officially won me over when their own right fielder Ryan Church, trotted out to his position to chants of "Al-le-luya" it doesn't seem like it took alot of thought, but it meets the requirements, clever, witty, and harmless. A-

The Ballpark: You have to wonder what designers were thinking when they built a baseball stadium with barely any seats in the outfield and the majority of its seats to high up. It's cheap, tacky, and kind of lame but I do love the apple popping out of the hat when the Mets hit a homer, gimmicks aren't always a bad thing. I actually think Shea would be better if it wasn't so BIG, as close as I was to the field you still felt kind of far away from the actual game. What really turned me off to Shea was the audio system, I don't think that a franchise in the biggest city in the world needs to be TOLD to make noise, nor do I feel like they are giving their fans much credit. Baseball isn't hockey or basketball or football, you don't need to be told to cheer for "D-Fence" holding up a fake white picket fence. You get on your feet with bases loaded, you stand up and clap when there are two outs and two strikes, you give standing ovations when the pitcher comes off the mound after a great game. No fake pounding of the bleachers needed. B-

Beverage Distribution: I do find this an important aspect of any sporting event, especially baseball. I don't know if handing out aluminum bottles or bottles made of any metallic substance to Vinny from Long Island is a good idea, people who choose to use baseball bats to inflict pain may find another use for the empty bottle. Anyway, what really puzzles me is why at Fenway Park beer is not distributed via beer vendors yet is okay on Long Island, New York? $8.00 bucks a beer is a little steep, but you don't get em' any less expensive at any of these venues, so I can deal. The beer distribution grade was a C+ because I thought for sure a bottle would be used as a weapon if push came to shove. I say was because just before they cut off everyone in the ballpark the vendors made their way through the aisles encouraging one more beer like it was Jordan's last season and Bulls fans were chanting "One More Year." I LOVE IT, because seven innings and 3 hours wasn't enough time for anyone to get their full consumption in. B+

Finally, The Game: When you view a ballpark for the first time you spend the majority of the first half of the game just taking it in (as lame as that sounds) From the die hard fans with their hats they've had for years to the little kids just waiting for the guy on the back of their jersey to make a big play, your impressed. It isn't until your used to that, when you start focusing on the game in front of you. When you don't have a rooting interest, game day becomes something much different, you find yourself waiting for someone on the Mets to hit a homer so you can see the apple come out of the hat, you no longer argue balls and strikes and whether tie actually goes to the runner. After peanut indigestion took place and the Mets secured a 12-6 clobbering, Shea Stadium was officially crossed off my list of parks I haven't been to, all the while its' replacement looms in the backdrop.A

Sunday, May 4, 2008

South of the Border No Mas!

Back in the Commonwealth after a week in Mexico, and thank God. Now don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the 85 degree weather, nothing but sunshine, and lack of having to do work. But trying to find access to some relevant sports information, let's just say it left something to be desired.

(Note to self: schedule vacation to foreign land to begin on any other day than NFL Draft Saturday. I don't even know if the entire country it is held in cares enough, let alone a third world tourist destination)

Check in at hotel went smoothly. Jose the Bellhop is transporting bags to the room, and I am racing him up the stairs to find out if the NFL Draft will be televised in Cozumel, Mexico. No luck -- a station that is posing as ESPN seems to be intent on showing me futbol, just not the kind I'm interested in. After changing into my bathing suit and slapping on some SPF 90, I decide to scroll through the channels one last time and BAM! Just like that Jake Long is walking to the podium and NFL Commish has just introduced the number one selection overall:

Nick 1, Tel-A-Mundo 0

I must give a thank you to my girlfriend, who is more than putting up with my excitement that I have found the draft. And even though it is in Spanish, I'm about to wet myself. Long, Long, Ryan, McFadden, Dorsey . . . . . .then the unthinkable happens, the "Mexican ESPN" determines that is enough and futbol is back on. UGH! Anyway, first day in Mexico, no big deal, the sun is calling us:

Nick 1, Tel-A-Mundo 1

Day 2 or 3 or maybe 4; who knows I'm on vacation. I decided to re-visit ESPN Mexicana (that is what I've dubbed the station which maintains it is part of the World Wide Leader) Mexican Sportscenter is on, and I couldn't be more delighted. No really, I'm pretty jacked up about this. In the States, we delegate a 2 to 3 minute piece called ESPN Deportes (ESPN for the Spanish speaking consumers) so why wouldn't Mexican Sportscenter do the same for their English-speaking consumers. Give me a couple of NBA playoff scores, maybe even a little baseball action. I really don't feel like I'm asking for too much here. Well, they are giving me a teaser and showing a couple of highlights, so I fully expect to see a score at some point. Ask and I shall receive: I've been updated that the Celtics are now tied in a series that should have ended three days ago. Breathe Nick, you're on vacation. The Red Sox were dispatched by the Devil Rays in three straight games. I had to move the clock back an hour, maybe the scores are reversed as well? Nope. Thank you ESPN Mexicana.

Note: Mexican Sportscenter is a tad racy. The anchors always include one woman (I support this) who shows a bit too much cleavage for Sportscenter. I don't know if that is a bad thing, but I'm just not used to it. Secondly, this constant need to show soccer -- sorry, futbol -- is wearing thin on me.

Nick 1 , Tel-A-Mundo 2

So I've discovered a computer that has Internet access in the lobby. I know, I know, I'm on vacation, but seriously this was the last thing I expected to find. The keyboard on the computer is virtually the same with a few exceptions: two letter N's (one with a tilde over it), lack of @ symbol(this makes it hard to e-mail), and about 15 Alt buttons. I've only ever used 1 of the 2 that the American keyboards have, so I'm intrigued by the opportunity to have an additional 13 on this Spanish keyboard. Anyway, I can't read the sign above the computer, but from what I can gather, the resort is requesting you spend a maximum 15 minutes at a time on the Internet, and they would appreciate if you didn't visit pornographic websites. (The computer is in the lobby with people all around. I'm not sure this needs to be said, but I am in a foreign land so you never know.) Quick visits to to find out what the hell happened on draft Saturday, and then to to find out when the Celtics would play next, and I'm off. I used only 5 minutes of my allotted 15, so you're welcome to the other resort guests.

Did you really think I wasn't going to comment on the draft?

1. It seems to me that Jerry Jones may have learned a thing or two from the Tuna years. Out with Julius Jones in with Felix Jones, the Arkansas back played a fine second option to Darren McFadden and is sneaky fast. Jerry was determined to upgrade the secondary and did so in the first round with South Florida DB, Mike Jenkins and in the late rounds with Boise State DB Orlando Scandrick. Preparing for the future may not have always been Jerry's best attack but in 09' he might need to have a back in waiting when Marion Barber cashes in on free agency, enter bruising Georgia Tech back, Tashard Choice. Big D isn't crying about the Tuna's off season heist of their front office and coaching staff, they are preparing for a deep postseason run.

2. The Steelers are re-tooling and the AFC better watch out. They have dramatically improved their offense by adding the second best back in the draft (Illinois RB, Rashard Mendenhall) to their already explosive backfield with Willie Parker. Despite Hines Wards' feelings, the Steelers went out and answered the request of their quarterback, drafting BIG wide receiver Longhorn, Limas Sweed at 6-4. After losing perennial pro bowler, Alan Faneca to the Jets, Pittsburgh drafted another Longhorn, Tony Hills at 6-6 and 305lbs. The Steelers had the best draft in 2008, congrats.

3. Don't sleep on Miami. I'll give it a year or two before the Dolphins are actually worth discussing because lets be honest you don't go from 1-15 to a playoff contender over night but they are making some giant leaps toward improvement. Not only did the Tuna stay away from the likes of Darren McFadden, Matt Ryan, and Glenn Dorsey but he went after a cornerstone of an offense in Jake Long. After making the mistake of not selecting Orlando Pace years ago, it seems the Tuna has learned a few things as well. A monster defense end in Clemson's Phillip Merling (6-5, 282lbs) Parcells went ahead and added another need position in round 2, someone who was good enough to be a first rounder at that. JUST in case you were worried that John Beck may not be the "Franchise", Parcells grabbed insurance in former Michigan signal caller, Chad Henne. I like keeping Jason Taylor, for now, and not giving him up or to little. Shhhh, but the Fins are getting better.

Enough about the draft, even I'm sick of hearing/talking about it at this point. Back to Mexican television, I believe that Mexico is about ten years behind maybe even more as it comes to televsion. Now before you call me every Nancy, I was only watching the following shows because there was absolutely nothing else on television in english:

7:00 am Beverly Hills 90210
8:00 am Dawson's Creek
(of which I watched both every morning)

Unfortunately Friday came and my vacation was almost over, the Celtics are gearing up for Game 6 of their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks and the question has been swirling around me all day long: Will ESPN Mexicana grant me the Celts game come 8:00?

The Answer: Yes (small victory for me)

By now of course you know the result of that Game 6 as well as the following Game 7 and Game 1 of the Celtics second round series against The Cleveland Lebrons. I wanted to talk all the Celts fans off the edge here so this is what I got. Atlanta clearly wasn't as good as Boston and may have stole a couple games from the Celtics in Atlanta, Game 6 however was a travesty. The Hawks shot a mind numbing 47 free throws compared to the Celtics 25, and despite Doc Rivers clearly losing his mind the Celtics still only lost by 3. As far as this series with the Cavs go, it'll probably go 6 or 7 with the Celtics winning in the end. Boston got 4 points out of Pierce and Allen while Cleveland had to sit there and watch Lebron miss a game tying bunny and finish the night 2/18 from the field. So it cancels out, I take the likelihood that Garnett drops 20 a game and 10-15 boards over Zydrunas Ilgauskas scoring another 22 points and grabbing 12 boards each game. Nuff Said, Stay Tuned.

Ah, anyway I'm back in the states and I got my George Bush Tax Refund back so time for some strippers and booze (when I say strippers and booze I mean student loan payments and gas at 4 bucks a gallon) Back to reality.