There are many hard lessons to be learned from the “degenerate” experience, but the harshest one of them all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart. It is the difference between Winning and Losing, on most days, and on Saturday the Final Four will be a lesson for fun-loving Losers. It does not matter if you have Wisconsin or Michigan St winning it all. Nor does it matter if you have Duke or Kentucky – the line for both games is 5 and if anyone tells you they know how it all plays out with certainty, well…you’ve been warned.
Saturday has never been kind or forgiving to these people. They are taught all their lives that Saturday Night is when even idiots can cut loose and take risks that would be out of the question on any other night. Get drunk, shoot guns, dance naked in public, or even crouch in your basement and hack into the NSA database…
If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then Saturday belongs to the devil. It is the only night of the week when he gives out Free-passes to the Freak Show at the Too Much Fun Club. Not everyone believes this, of course, and the doubters are not without wisdom. However, it is no accident that Dog-Racing Tracks do phenomenal business on Saturday, or that people swarm into nightclubs and dance to a fevered beat. Why not? At least they all have plenty of company…
Even the Jails become more crowded, and the lines are long at the neighborhood ATM. Nobody feels guilty for things that happen on Saturday – not even the ones who fly off to Las Vegas and get married at Midnight by a Preacher who claims to be Elvis and fondles the bride while he talks. What the hell, right? It goes with the territory these days. We are Modern People and we like to do Modern Things. That is dangerous gibberish in some circles, and the “Degenerate Fraternity” is one of them. There is nothing modern about doing dumb things for dumb reasons, and nothing new about the feelings of shame and disgrace that come down on people who think it is “Fun” to bet the outcome of Wrestlemania.
Or how much “Fun” it is to bet the Opening Day of baseball – who has the time or energy to breakdown spring-training games to evaluate whether or not the Rockies will avoid losing by more than 1.5 runs to the Brewers on Monday. But, all that matters in the sports-gaming business is the score at the end of the day and winning at least 2 out of 3 – lest your wife files for divorce and strange men in black suits show up and kick down your door at night.
Take last night’s Suns v Warriors game as an example. The first 47 minutes was not much to look at. Kind of like that girl who doesn’t wear makeup and then suddenly decides to dress up and you can’t take your eyes off her in the last minute. The Suns and Warriors traded leads in the last 26 seconds, 4 times. Only to see Chef Curry bust a 3 – free salsa for everyone! It’s a game like that, that is Fun to watch, a hospital stay to bet.
The Smart play, however, is that Steph Curry will be the MVP. He’s the best player, on the best team, that could finish one loss shy of equaling the 95-96 Bulls and their 70-12 record. The other guys? NO shot. Except James Harden, he does deserve it. The way he has scored 30+ points in a game 33 times. The way he has had to lift his entire team, alone. It’s impressive and it seems on a night-by-night basis both Harden and Curry trade metaphorical blows trying to knock the other guy out from the race. It says something about the Warriors championship aspirations by continuing to grind out W’s when they don’t need them – their position is secured. Jason Whitlock said on PTI yesterday, that watching the ballet between Curry and Harden was reminiscent of Ali/Frazier. Harden being relentless, the power player that wants to punish you with drives to the basket. While Curry is the Wizard that floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. The parallels are spooky, and the Smart thing would be to see them matched up in the playoffs.
Let’s all have more Fun, and have faith in a government that reaches a nuclear framework with Iran as John Boehner sips Netanyahu-Jockstrap-Tea in Israel; accept that on the same day we remember the first Zombie, it will also be the death-a-versary of Kurt Cobain‘s murder-suicide 21 years ago; trust that Ken Griffey Jr doubled in his first at-bat against Dave Stewart today in 1989; regard the Pony Express debuted today in 1860; admit Jesse James was shot by that coward Robert Ford today in 1882; swallow that Annie Hall beat Star Wars for best picture today in 1978, and affirm the Unabomber was arrested today in 1996. Sunday is the Lord’s day and we shall use it to reflect upon the final Saturday of college basketball, feast on Easter ham, and welcome the start of baseball – Amen, Hallelujah – where’s the aspirin?