When George Wallace ran for President as an independent in 1968 he did so because, he said, there wasn’t “a dime’s worth of difference” between the Republicans and Democrats.
Watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals last night I got the same sensation. Midway through the fourth quarter with the game tied, I kept thinking “We’re going to forever proclaim one of these two teams 2009-10’s clear “World Champions” based on what occurs in these last six minutes? It seems ludicrous.”
The fact is each team was dead equal. There wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two.
Their Team Win Scores for the seven game series were: Boston 31.71; Los Angeles 31.52. Dead equal. Each team won once on the other team’s home floor and lost the rest of their away games. The only reason the Lakers won last night and are World Champions this morning, it seemed to me, is because of home court advantage and unfortunate Celtic injury. If they played a hundred more times at full strength I would expect each team to win 50 times.
But hey, that’s part of sports. We sort of have to buy into the fiction. You think the New York Giants were really better than the New England Patriots a couple seasons ago? Well, history does. (That’s whats such a joke about ESPN’s campaign to have the college football champion ‘decided on the field’. The field is probably the worst place to decide things!)
I’m not saying the Lakers aren’t a worthy champion. They certainly are. And they earned the right to have that seventh game in California, which I kind of like because it rewards long term excellence.
But still, all the celebration after the game last night struck me as phony. It seemed contrived. I kept thinking “You’ve proven you’re maybe a c hair better than the Celtics and you’re dousing each other with booze?”
I’m just getting cynical, I guess. Woo-hoo, Worlds Champions!