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by Tariq al Haydar

Like most of you, I missed the start of the game because it coincided with evening prayers. Don't you hate that? Come on, Sternbot, the fact that you would allow an NBA playoff game to start right around isha prayer is unforgivable. I almost feel compelled to call Del tha Funkee Homosapien to record a diss song. Speaking of which, this whole rap thing is getting way out of hand. You know that the situation has gone to hell when someone like Mike Wise of the Washington Post ends his column with what he thinks is an approximation of rap lyrics. Seriously:

DeShawn's Got Soulja

LeBron's Got Hova

Game 4 is off da hook

Now this column is ova

What kind of poppycock is this?

But anyway, I settled into my yellow La-Z-Boy at the beginning of the second quarter. Here are my notes:

- I didn't know which channel was showing the game, so I was afraid that Reggie "Screech" Miller would be calling the game. I would have had to switch to ART's equally-abysmal Egyptian announcer, who says things like "Dallas shouldn't struggle when Dirk is out injured, because a team shouldn't depend on one player." In other words, he's an idiot. I'll take Hubie Brown and Tirico any day.

- When Anderson Varejao shoots, he's as graceful as Star Jones when she strips.

- Mike Brown screams a lot in the huddle, but I find it hard to concentrate on what he's saying.

- Commercial break. When ESPN breaks for commercial, ART (Arab Radio and Television) switches to old Top 10 lists. This time it's Top 10 blocks. I've seen it before, but Kelenna Azubuike's block on J.R. Smith is nasty. I can't remember when that game was played.

- Devin Brown misses two free throws. LeBron James's future as a New York Knick inches ever closer to realization.

- LeBron is booed loudly. He responds by driving to the hole for an uncontested lay-up.

- The crowd chants "overrated."

- Mike Tirico points out that Soulja Boy is getting "way too much run which he doesn't deserve." Crank dat.

- Another commercial break. This time the feed stays with ESPN, but instead of the commercials, I get a view of what's happening in the arena. Apparently, the announcer is trying to lead the crowd into chanting "Pizza!" This could be part of a promotional thing, or it could be that the Washington fans enjoy chanting random words and phrases, which would shed some much-needed light on the whole "overrated" chant.

- Bron dunks ferociously.

- Tirico on Bron's dunk: "Take a picture of that. And rate it, for that matter."

- Yet another commercial break. This is my problem with American sports: Too many stoppages. ART show a clip of Shareef Abdur-Rahim executing a bounce pass while sitting down. Steve Kerr, who was calling the game, says: "Whoa! Shareef Abdul-Bird!" What Kerr did not realize is that this is a blasphemous remark. By saying "Abdul-Bird," he inadvertently declared that Larry Bird was Reef's Lord and Savior. But because Kerr is oblivious to this, it's merely hilarious, not offensive.

- Delonte West sinks an open three. Ben Wallace gets an assist on the play, thereby bringing the total percentage of his salary he's actually EARNED to %6.3.

- A Bron three barely touches the rim. The King needs to improve his three-point shot pronto.

- Alley-oop. There is no need whatsoever for Bron to improve his dunking.

- My brother walks in, throws a three-pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups at me, and leaves without saying a word. This is an awesome delevopment which causes much merriment and celebration.

- The LeBron/DeBeard, Jay-Z/Soulja Boy, East Coast/West Coast, WrestleMania XII extravaganza almost gets violent when DeShawn's mistimed block attempt hits Bron in the head, causing him to lose his copyrighted headband. Thankfully, the beef is squashed before DeShawn utters the words: "We can handle this like gentlemen, or we can get into some gangsta sh*t."

- ART never show the half-time show. I wonder who LeBron's Top 5 Athletes are. I hope Diego Maradona is one of them. Not likely. The Cavs lead 54-44 at half-time.

Third Quarter:

- DeBeard draws an offensive foul on LeBron. The "rivalry" continues.

- Brendan Haywood commits an obvious charge, but the refs call Wally Spicerack for a blocking foul. This officially signals Brendan Haywood's arrival as a bona fide superstar.

- ESPN match assorted clips from LeBron's dominant (thus far) night with Peter Gabriel's "Big Time."Personally, I'd have gone with Billy Joel's "I Go to Extremes," but that's just nitpicking.

- In a quick sequence, DeBeard gets a three, a steal and a dunk, then does his played-out-since-at-least-January I Can't Feel My Face routine. Another Billy Joel song comes to mind: "Famous Last Words."

- Tirico points out that this whole sideshow has distracted people from the fact that both DeShawn and his Beard have had pretty good seasons. For a moment I think he means Varejao when he says "sideshow." But he does raise a valid point.

- The Wiz try to trap LeBron. The strategy results in a Boobie three.

- Boobie follows up his three with a T, which I think is hogwash.

- Tuff Juice pulls the Wiz to within two: 72-70.

- Bron splits the trap, gets to the rim and sinks a lay-up. And 1. He's feeling it tonight. And by "it" I do NOT mean "his face."

- Antuwoun Jamison responds with a three-point play of his own. Quietly, he's having a pretty strong game.

- Stat of the night: Washington have been outrebounded 198-12 in the third quarter.

- Joe Smith gets yet ANOTHER offensive rebound and beats the buzzer. And gets fouled. That's what #1 overall picks do, boy. Well, they do it more often, but still...

- Tirico gets riled up over the illogicality of the refs adding 0.3 seconds to the clock. He gives a lengthy argument about how this conflicts with common sense and should be ammended. I'm a pretty logical guy, but I'm surprisingly OK with the whole situation.

Fourth Quarter:

- Brendan Haywood confirms his newfound superstar status by blocking a Boobie three. Cavs still lead 80-75 with just over ten minutes to go.

- The Wiz keep trying to trap LeBron, but this inevitably leads to the same result: an open three, this time by Delonte West.

- Another Delonte three. 88-82.

- Commercial break. ART stay with the ESPN feed. Tirico, who is off the air (in America) exclaims to someone in a passionate tone of voice: "I washed my entire right ear, OK?!" Just a little Hawaiian Punch comes out of my nose.

- Caron makes a sweet runner in the lane. 90-87, Cavs.

- Caron fouls Ben Wallace. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that Ben is the worst free-throw shooter in the history of the NBA. His charity-stripe sojourns are a thing of (mutated) beauty.

- Antwawun tries to emulate Caron with a runner of his own, but fails miserably.

- Boobie beats the shot-clock with a huge three over Caron. 93-87. The Wizards call a timeout with five minutes remaining.

- Big Z misses a baseline jumper, and I use the term "jump" loosely.

- One of the funniest turnovers ever: LeBron passes it to Delonte, who continues on his way down the court, totally oblivious.

- Caron with another runner. He can make those.

- Boobie drains another three to make it 97-91 with just over three minutes remaining.

- Bron gets his fifth foul with three minutes remaining. Usually I'd make a joke here about how there's nothing to worry about, because if he fouls out then Eric Snow will probably step up, but Bron has been strangely quiet in the fourth. And Delonte and Boobie have been making big shots. The Apocalypse is upon us.

- Caron sinks a jumper in the lane.

- LeBron shoots an airball from three-point land. He hasn't made a field goal in the fourth.

- Big Z defends Brendan "Superstar" Haywood well, forcing him to miss the baby hook. Probably not the shot the Wiz want, especially with 1:30 left.

- Gilbert Arenas shooting free throws with the game on the line. Ah... memories. He sinks both and cuts the deficit to two.

- Bron misses a runner. 0-3 in the fourth.

- Gil ties the game with a highly-improbable fadeaway. 28 seconds left. I'm not really rooting for anyone, but it's nice to see Gil hit that shot, especially since he'd been struggling all night.

- Delonte West sinks a three with 5.4 seconds left to give the Cavs a three-point lead. Hubie sums it up nicely: "West from the corner has been absolute murder."

- the Wiz have one last shot, but Gil misses a step-back three. The Cavs go up 3-1 in the series, so the Wizards are essentially done. So am I.


TADOne said...

This went from really good to weak because the link didn't work. Yeah, i'm petty like that. But seriously, Tariq needs a raise. What? We don't get paid for this?! Oh, in that case, um, good work my man.

Eboy said...

I hope DeShawn gets AIDS.

Eboy said...


BETCATS said...

Stevenson Tellem.

ASPOV said...

Funny, funny stuff, Tariq. For some reason perhaps because you mentioned it) I imagined you in a bright (Big Bird) yellow recliner with a bag of popcorn and a bottle of Hawaian Punch, wearing a (Prince) purple silk robe while watching this game. In the words of that silly yet captivating commercial: "Dude".

Tariq al Hayder said...


You aren't too far off. Here are the slight differences between what you pictured and what actually transpired:

1- My La-Z-Boy is not bright yellow, but rather a yellowish brown. Kinda like the urine of someone with liver problems. Sorry for the unsavory imagery, but I have to seek the truth.

2- I always try to keep ample amounts of Hawaiian Punch in close proximity to my person. Thing is, the supermarket chain that imports American goodies (as opposed to the American stuff that's manufactured locally, like Pepsi and Snickers) doesn't maintain a steady flow of products. Which means that once the stash of Hawaiian Punch I have at home runs out, I'm screwed.

3- I do occassionally eat popcorn, but more often than not I enjoy Doritos, Cheetos, or pumpkin seeds. As for sweets, ice cream is always good (Peanut Butter n Choc from Baskin Robbins). Or Reese's. I love peanut butter.

4- I did actually watch the game in a very comfortable robe-like piece of clothing. Except not silk. Muslim men can't wear silk or gold. Just plain ol' cotton. Plus, it was sky blue, not purple. But now that you mention it, I SHOULD buy a purple one. Then I can amuse myself by singing "Money Don't Matter Tonight" during commercial breaks.

Tariq al Hayder said...

By the way, I think I should just mention, for the sake of clarity, that Prince is a damn genius. He may be a strange, flamboyantly annoying little dude, but he makes great, great music. I'm making a Legends playlist for my iPod (I'm nerdy like that), and I can't figure out which single song best represents Prince. I'm leaning towards When Doves Cry.

BETCATS said...

Tariq, you and me could have a good conversation one day. Hawian Punch > Kool Aid

Eboy said...

I'd go with Purple Rain, T.

Tariq al Hayder said...


Hmm...interesting hypothesis. I would agree with you, but there's a special kind of Kool-Aid that is better than Hawaiian Punch: these already-mixed Kool-Aid jammer things. The cherry-flavored Kool-Aid jammers could be better than Hawaiian Punch. But Minute Maid Fruit Punch is the best out of all of them. As for soft drinks, we don't get ANY of my favorites over here: Mountain Dew Code Red, Welch's Grape Soda and Cherry Coke.

In conclusion, anything with cherry, grape, or mixed fruit is great. Do you concurr, BET?

Tariq al Hayder said...

Eboy: I always thought that Purple Rain was overrated. And not overrated like Bron either, but actually overrated. As well as his "materpiece" Sign O the Times. Maybe I need to re-listen. Here's my list of favorite Prince tracks:

- Money Don't Matter Tonight
- Kiss
- When Doves Cry
- Little Red Corvette
- Raspberry Beret
- Cream
- Thunder
- Thieves in the Temple
- The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
- 7
- My Name is Prince
- Peach

Eboy said...

When Doves Cry
Little Red Corvette
Raspberry Beret
Let's Go Crazy
Get Off
I Would Die 4 U

Can't go wrong with that playlist.

AR said...

Rasberry Beret will eternally on my playlist.

I concur with Tariq.

BETCATS said...

Tariq: the green hawian punch is the greatest side dish with fried chicken. Minute Maid Fruit Punch is NASTY! that stuff makes my mouth hurt. Green Hawian Punch all the way!!!!!!!!!

ASPOV said...

I'd go back further, guys: "She's always in my hair" or "17 Days". And no song can say I l(ust)ove you better than "Adore".

ASPOV said...

"You can say that I'm a terminal case/you can burn up my clothes, smash up my ride (well, maybe not the ride)/but I gotta have your face all up in the place. I'd like to think that I'm a man with exquisite tastes/100% Italian silk, imported Egyptian lace/But nothing can compare to your lovely face." Damn, I'd drop my panties after that!! :-)

Eboy said...

Boy, I need to remember those lyrics for when I finally meet up with Cheryl. :)