Friday, July 10, 2009

Part Three: An Interest Fulfilled

But as anyone who's ever known me knows, I can't just kinda do anything. Right then and there in that comfy condo's SportsCenter-viewing chair, the spark was ignited. I immediately copped my copies of (the temporarily titled) ESPN NBA Basketball with Allen Iverson for the PS2 as well as NBA Live 2004 with Vince Carter for the GameCube. And of course I couldn't rest with the previous generation of video game systems' lack of updating capability. Once I noticed Dikembe Mutombo wasn't supposed to be on the Nets anymore, I immediately had to create a system to keep track of these dang rosters that changed every single day. So I used my spreadsheet savvy to organize rosters with every single player's information, as well as free agents, that also integrated depth charts based on starting percentage and minutes played. Without even meaning to, I knew where every guy in the association was, where they had been, what their role was on the team, a scouting report on them, their physical spec's, and all the important garbage. I got the Harvey Pollack Statistical Yearbook full of every obscure stat and non-stat and amusing anecdote you never wanted to know, yet for some reason I needed to know. I got the straight stat book collections later. The exact numbers of points per game and turnovers were an afterthought to the collection of distances of every individual player's shots and who got blocked the most.

But that was all just for my newfound love of the game in general. The important premise behind the whole thing was my inabsolvable commitment to the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, I knew they were the most hated team in America, yet still sold the most merchandise year in and year out. Yes, I knew that most people considered them a cop-out favorite team for any given sports fan and consensus was that the refs cheated for them. Yes, I knew Shaq sometimes came in overweight and lazy because of a minor toe injury and that Kobe was supposedly a ball-hogging adulterer. But who cares? They felt right to me. I would soon understand enough about them to pimp slap any approaching hater with a stat sheet-clad fist. As I have/do regularly.

[to be continued]

... but do take my word for it.

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