July 9th, 2010

My Equally Valid Opinion

Rhetoric

"Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there."

There it was, in all its Comic Sans glory. Coming not ten sentences after the same author noted their clear disgust with the buildup and pageantry surrounding the decision. The single most outlandish sentence I've ever seen associated with sports.

I'll level with ya, I didn't give a rip where whatshisface went. The amount I care about basketball is somewhere between "did the Raptors lose yet" and "man, these fruit flies are so annoying, where do they keep coming from?" So I didn't hear about it until this morning, when the fur was flying on twitter. And I mean, wow. Is this what it was like when Gretzky got moved to LA? Can you imagine what it would've been like if the internet were around when Babe Ruth went to the Yankees?

But that sentence, from Dan Gilbert's letter to the fans, takes the cake. It takes it and smothers it in chocolate honeybee glaze, whatever that even means. "Some people think they should go to heaven..." Okay, yeah, I'm with you so far Gilbert. I think I should go to heaven. I've been good to my sled dogs, they'll hold the bridge straight for me. I'd say most of us figure we should get to heaven on a personal level, unless we're terribly depressed, overly fatalistic, or just plain think we're hellbound. "...but NOT have to die to get there." This is where it all falls apart. He's implying that playing basketball in Cleveland is like dying. Also that the NBA playoffs are like surreal death throes, all headin' to the light with dead grandparents beckoning, and the championship itself is the sweet release of the grave and the subsequent angels-harps-and-beer package deal. Wow, I never knew basketball was so philosophical.

I'm having a little trouble seeing this in such stark terms. Yes, it's a damn shame there had to be so much hoopla; it really chewed up time on sports shows that should've been talking about soccer, Canadian football, and the Tour de France. But come on, if the guy is dying on your team, and all you're offering him is yet another fantastic trip to So-So Limbo, don't be surprised when he switches religions.

Also, I think the all-caps "NOT" is a little harsh. The whole letter could've used some italics. Subtle, simmering anger would've been better than outright rage. Get someone to proofread for you next time.