The first article that caught my eye on ESPN today was about the California Wildfires. Everything I'm about to say is WRONG by today's standards, but I'm going to say it anyway.
Basketball is not my sport. Soccer is my sport. Part of the gamesmanship of soccer is the unpredictable nature of the environment. Other than playing a Soccer Championship Game in accumulating snow, you play anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Why no snow? (Specifically in the MLS Championship game? Because MLS should not be playing their championship in December. That is poor scheduling management. If there's a fluke snowstorm in April? Game on.)
Your fans are launching fireworks onto the field? Game on.
Field half underwater? Game on.
Pussy Riot runs onto pitch? Tackle them and keep playing.
That is the Soccer mentality. That is not the Basketball mentality.
The basketball mentality is perfect conditions.
Floor wet? Stop play someone might fall. Between plays ball boys towel off the floor.
Air conditioning broken? Not fair.
"Dead Spots on the Floor?" We need a new floor.
So yesterday wildfires brought chaos to the large portions of the state of California. The Lakers were scheduled to play the Kings and there was a thin cloud of smoke inside of the Golden One Center. Players on both teams, most notably the Lakers, whined of the non-pristine conditions.
You may side with the players, but remember, Smoking Bans are a recent phenomenon. California banned smoking inside arenas in 1995. I remember watching sporting events in the 70's clouded with a layer of cigarette smoke. Playing in smoke filled arenas used to be a common occurrance.
I don't ever recall a boxer complaining of a "smoky" arena back in the 40's or 50's when that sport was king. Am I saying allow smoking in arenas? No. What I'm saying is, that almost every aspect of the basketball environment is quality controlled.
NBA players fly from game to game in the comfort of private jets, have their own private staffs, play in billion dollar state-of-the-art palaces, and are arguably the most pampered athletes in the entire world.....
Maybe I'll start my own summer outdoor basketball league on concrete surfaces with chain nets. If it rains, you take out the squeegee, tennis style, and just clear off the puddles. I think basketball purists would love it. I think some basketball players would like it....
If you paid them enough money to like it.
Yeah, and don't think I forgot about the Forest Fire either. Nearly every year Forest Fires happen and people in California are dumb-founded. It must be global warming!!! I'm not saying global warming isn't real. I'm saying that the rich build their houses on lands prone to wildfires, then are stunned when their houses burn down in areas that have seen seasonal fires for a thousand years. And then the immortal words of Jello Biafra reverberate in my head...from 1982.
There's a forest fire climbin' the hill
Burning wealthy California homes
Better run run run run run run from the fire.....
What about the cocaine?
Stockpiled in the basement
Be a hero and save it
You know you're gonna need it
Where's your brand new pretty wife
She might still be inside
Either save her or your cocaine from the fire.....
Added 3 Days Later: I've said it before, I'll say it again. When I was a kid, the Cleveland Browns played on a field of mud. Instead of investing money into the field, notorious cheapskate Art Modell simply painted the mud green to give the appearance of grass for the TV cameras.
Today, even the NFL is approaching the NBA level of arrogance. NFL Cancels Mexico City Trip because of field conditions. What's wrong with the field? Soaked because of rain.