Friday, June 29, 2007

Updated with Jericho Video & Comment: Benoit Part 3: Odds and Ends, Plus Chris Jericho

First up, if you don't really have a desire to read all of the lengthy posts I've done regarding Benoit (I know I wouldn't) and want to know which one is really the best/most important I'd direct you to watch the Jericho videos in this post and read "Benoit Part 2: The Media's Coverage and Some Context."

Now, onto the topic. If you want to see a possible train wreck tonight, watch Hannity and Colmes on Fox News at 9:00 eastern, they’re having the Ultimate Warrior on. Let’s just say that Warrior is, um, a pretty direct individual with interesting ways of stating opinions. For example, his opinion on gay people; “queering doesn’t make the world work.” Though he can be a smart guy at times, so it should be interesting.

Now, onto the almost funny way the media has sounded on this story. Beyond the media’s attempts to dumb down this tragity into just a roid rage it’s also clear that prime time cable news shows don’t really do any research on their stories at all. This isn’t a surprise of course, the format is largely to get two people with divergent opinions and let them scream at each other, whether or not either of the opinions is valid. So, it’s to be expected that there would be mistakes when covering wrestling, but some of the mistakes have been so stupid that they’d be hilarious if the story weren’t about a double murder. I’m not asking they be wrestling experts, just that some semblance of decent research be done. Here are a few examples;

They’ve not asked anyone to let them know the right terminology for stuff: On MSNBC Dan Abrams repeatedly mentioned that “Chris Benoit met his wife during a pro wrestling stunt.” Sure, wrestlers might on occasion do things that look like stunts, but I don’t think Chris and Nancy met while he was jumping off the top of a cage (and besides, that would have been refered to as a spot, not a stunt). The met when a storyline involved them getting together romantically, similar to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie getting together during the filming of a movie. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever hear somebody ask either of them if they met “while doing one of those make believe story things you guys do” or during a “movie stunt.”

Wrestling is always stupid and fake, until they need it not to be: On Fox news, while apparently trying to build a case for Benoit clearly being a monster for the last 20 years or so one reporter (I think Geraldo, so that pretty much explains it) mentioned that they called him “the Crippler” because he broke another guy’s neck in the ring by dropping him. That’s all (mostly) true, but what’s inaccurate is that it was mentioned as though it were done intentionally. Maybe it’s just me, but I think if you’re a person who wants to break a guys neck because you’re crazy there are more direct ways of going about it than throwing him up in the air and hoping he lands wrong. The humor in this to me is how often the “wrestling is fake” manta is trotted out in the mainstream press. It’s true, wrestling is scripted and they aren’t trying to hurt each other, until now apparently, so I guess Geraldo thinks that the guys really are trying to kill each other.

Finally, a mistake on Nancy Grace shows what is probably the clearest lack of research. One night she asked a guest if Benoit’s demotion from the elite Four Horsemen to Raw could have caused depression. It’s not wrong if you don’t follow wrestling to think that question makes sense, unless you’re hosting a national news program, in which case it just makes it clear you’re idea of research for your main story was to have an intern look at Benoit’s Wikipedia entry for a minute and a half and scribble down some notes. Even worse, she asked a similar question again the next night about whether Benoit's move to ECW was a demotion (Below are videos of Chris Jericho on her show where this all gets cleared up for her). If you’re still wondering what was so incorrect about that question here’s the shortest explanation I can give:

4 Horsemen = a group of four guys Benoit was a part of 8 years ago in a now defunct wrestling organization.
Raw = One of three separate brands on which wrestlers wrestle for WWE. Benoit had just been moved from Smackdown to ECW, to become the ECW champion on the show he missed on Sunday.

So, asking if he was demoted from the Four Horsemen to Raw is like asking if a football player is being demoted by being moved from the defensive line of the Miami Hurricanes to the Houston Texans (and then getting the team wrong on top of that).

What’s scary to me isn’t that reporters aren’t wrestling experts, it’s that they probably do just as little research when reporting on stories about politics, war, and other important major stories. Even worse, professional wrestling is way simpler than the other types of stories these networks cover on a daily basis.

Finally, here’s the video of Chris Jericho’s (One of the best wrestlers ever, friend of Benoit’s, and now semi-retired at a young age) appearance on Nancy Grace last night. He’s been the best and most articulate wrestler guest I’ve seen on these shows.

Chris Jericho Part 1

Chris Jericho Part 2

There, near the end of part 2 I think Nancy Grace sums up a lot of the media's problem here. She says she wants an answer like "it was steroids" so that she can feel more comfortable with what happened. She may want that to be a simple, comforting answer, even I may, it would be nice if we could just say that was it. Sadly though we can't and I think Jericho makes that point rather well.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Benoit Part 2: The Media’s Coverage and Some Context

Fair Warning: This post (or possibly these posts) will probably get a little long. Also, I haven’t really proof read them either, so there could be misspellings and such. Lastly, I’m not a doctor or psychologist, so my attempting to diagnose anything would be stupid. With that said, I have spent a lot of time over the years reading about the medical and psychological effects of activities such as wrestling, MMA, football, hockey and the impact of the drugs that their participants often use. Where I notice that I’m relying on my amateur knowledge of the effects of drugs or concussions to make an inference without something I could cite too (I don’t have time to properly cite this thing) I’ll put in an (*) to acknowledge that I’m just guessing.

Here are elements to this story I feel need to get more coverage to have a better understanding of what occured and have a better chance of making things better in the wrestling industry.

1) Chris Benoit’s 40 years before his monstrous acts of last weekend:

What makes this murder shocking isn’t that a man killed his wife and kid. While that’s about as heinous an act as a person can commit it happens far too often. What is really bizarre and strange is that the guy who did it was as highly respected in his profession as Benoit was. I’m in no way trying to resurrect his character, he doesn’t deserve that, I’m just trying to show how surprising these actions really were.

Before Monday you would be hard pressed to find a person who knew Benoit that had a negative thing to say about him. I’m not saying that as though I knew him (I’d never say that of someone I’ve only seen on television), I am saying that from the prospective of someone who has heard and read the comments of his co-workers for years, all praising him as one of the most solid and respectable guys they knew, one of the few guys that they seemed to trust enough to be honest with. In wrestling that is truly a rarity. When a wrestler looses his job, or retires, or just needs some extra cash he or she will often do what is called a shoot interview. Basically the idea of a shoot interview is to give your opinion on anything backstage, your fellow wrestlers (coworkers), your boss, anything, and sell it online. Obviously, as a result if you’ve ever pissed off anybody in wrestling it’s likely that you’ll be vilified eventually in an interview somewhere. Despite this all anyone ever heard about Benoit was glowing.

On the tribute show aired Monday before all the facts were known (at least on the eastern time showing, more on that in a later post maybe) various friends-coworkers gave their memories of Benoit (you can find them on youtube if you want). I’m sure most people look back to these statements retrospectively and say that his friends and coworkers were simply canonizing a guy because he died, that’s not the case though. Had you asked those same people for their thought on Benoit a week ago you would have gotten basically the same answers (albeit without the tears). That's why the fact this guy was a monster is so surprising.

Information has come out regarding previous troubles in Benoit’s marriage, in 2003 his wife Nancy filed for divorce and a restraining order citing threats to her and violent outburst where he had destroyed furniture. Does this mean there was a domestic violence problem in the marriage? Possibly, maybe even probably, honestly we’ll never really know whether, or how often, Benoit had been violent with his family before this weekend, we just know it happened to some degree. Either way it does show that there was some darker side to the guy described by so many that knew him as a great family man. It’s also in stark contrast to a man whom Linda McMahon described (on Good Morning America today) as taking off back home from the tour whenever he could to see his family, even if it was for only 4 or 5 hours. Honestly, it’s puzzling to try to figure out cases like this and we’ll never really have a full picture.

What I find particularly interesting is the description of his actions in the restraining order. He’s cited as threatening his wife and breaking furniture, that sounds pretty characteristic of roid rage (*). These rages are often described as outbursts of aggression, one former user has said his rages mirrored a much more violent version of a childish tantrum. Steroids effect everyone differently, but what is known is that the body stops producing enough testosterone naturally if steroids are abused and this often lead to a various levels of depression that don’t stop once you’re off steroids.

So, what does all this mean? In my summation it looked like Benoit was a class act to everyone around him, except for his wife and kid (at least at times often enough that she thought about leaving). I also think it shows that the media has run to quickly blame roid rage (to the exclusion of any other factors in many instances) for these murders. Steroids certainly played a part in creating an unstable Chris Benoit, but we won’t know if roid rage could have been a major cause specifically in the deaths until the toxicology reports come out in a few weeks. If roids were in his system the rage could have been a big part of the murders, but “roid rage” as the media is hyping doesn’t last for an entire weekend (* That’s what every roid abuser I’ve heard say anyway). Basically, roid rage can’t really account for as much of this as the media has credited it.

Until the reports do come I wish many of the major media outlets would stop their typical “guess at one simplistic answer (roid rage) and repeat it until it becomes a fact in the people’s mind.” While I’m very happy that the steroid (and other substance) issue is finally getting a level of scrutiny it has deserved for some time, I also think the truly disturbing/complex nature of these events can only be seen with a broader view of the situation. What follows are some issues that possibly (probably in my opinion) played as big a role in causing Benoit to snap.

2) The destructive wrestling lifestyle, it’s more than just steroids:

There truly is no off-season in pro wrestling. These guys work every week of the
year without ever really knowing when their next time off will be. While you can ask for and receive time off it’s not like many guys feel comfortable doing that until they’ve achieved a high level of success late in their career. (Benoit recently took 4 months off to spend with his family). Too many performers seem to let themselves get caught up on the never ending hamster wheel of touring, especially if they have a work ethic like Benoit was said to have.

Next, consider the physical trauma of their job. Sure, wrestling is scripted, but that doesn’t change the hits that a wresters body takes jumping, landing, and falling. As my favorite wrestler of all time (among a couple), Arn Anderson, once said about the level of wear on a wrestler’s body due to a match “it’s like getting into a car crash every night you go into that ring.” It’s not hard to see this either, talk to any former wrester and they’ll probably give you a laundry list of aches, pains, and future health problems their doctors have told them are just around the corner (if they’re old enough they’ll just tell you about their current health problems).

Because of this lifestyle it’s easy to see how so many wrestlers wind up taking various uppers to get themselves primed for show time, downers to be able to get rest afterward, steroids to keep their physique unnaturally ripped, alcohol to forget the fact you’ll be on the road for the foreseeable future, and of course pain killers to dull the pain. In many (most?) cases wrestlers who abuse drugs aren’t doing it for recreation, they’re doing it to function.

How is Vince McMahon supposed to remedy this? Simple, have definite (and sufficient) time off scheduled for each performer on the roster and stagger their time off so that WWE can still tour year round, it just won’t expect every wrestler to tour year round with it. It’s not like they can’t handle a guy’s absence, they have to do it often when guys get hurt (i.e. the Undertaker not too long ago).

3) Head trauma:

This is kind of a continuation of #2, but more particular to Benoit. His style was very high impact, former WWE wrestler, Harvard grad, and concussion expert Chris Nowinski had this to say; "he was one of the only guys who would take a chair shot to the back of the head, which is stupid.” On top of that Benoit utilized a lot of headbutts, including a diving headbutt from the top rope. That’s a lot of trauma on a part of your body that shouldn’t be rattled on that regular of a basis. As we are just now seeing with retired NFL players, repeated head trauma has a lasting effect, causing depression, mood swings, etc. (to see what I’m talking about google Andre Waters, an NFL player who recently committed suicide). Did repeated head trauma contribute? We might not know unless Chris Nowinski gets his wish, he’s trying to get Benoit’s brain analyzed. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about this happening. If they don’t look at it one possible key element in this whole tragedy could go unrecognized.

Honestly, this factor is the most uncomfortable for me to think about. The head trauma of NFL players, NHL players, boxers, wrestlers, and mixed martial artists is basically a requirement in what they do. The only thing I think that can be done here is for Vince to hire psychiatrists and require mandatory periodic checkups (hopefully even brain scans).

4) WWE’s Drug Policy:

After the death of Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit’s best friend, WWE started a new, allegedly strict, “Wellness Policy.” At first it did seem to really be working (*), (even though their standards for a failed test were loose, there’s an article in the New York Sun that discusses this in more detail than I can here). As a fan you saw you could see many guys getting smaller, more natural looking (*). Also, you often heard about suspensions for violations. Eventually this seemed to change. Guys got bigger, suspensions seemed less frequent. Did the policy that WWE has continually cited help some? Yeah, but it didn’t seem to be enough, or at least not strictly enforced enough over time (not speaking for Benoit, just generally to keep guys off the juice).

The answer here is simple, make the Wellness Policy what it should be. Make the tests stricter (requiring lower levels for a failed test like the Olympics or MLB) and add a mental health component as described above.

5) Lastly, Just Plain Bad Genetics and Experiences:

The guy’s best friend died not to long ago, to hear him say how much that hurt him (if you don’t mind the creepy overtones of seeing Benoit discuss his best friend’s death) click here . If you don’t want to watch the video he holds himself together for most of it, saying how Eddie was the one guy he could go to with personal problems, was his best friend, etc. At the end he breaks down as he thanks Eddie for making such a positive influence in his life.

On top of Eddie’s death there was the story we just learned about his son’s Fragile X syndrome. Obviously this was hard on the family. For some letters from families who have had to deal with it click here.

BIG TIME (*) HERE (I’m not diagnosing this as what caused Benoit to do this, I’m just saying I read an article and noticed some similarities): Lastly, it’s long, but here’s an article about the psychology of fathers who kill their family, refered to as “family annihilators.” To shorten it here’s the most relevant part:

“The profile of a family annihilator is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbours to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father,' Levin said. 'He quite often tends to be quite isolated. He is often profoundly dedicated to his family, but has few friends of his own or a support system out with the family. He will have suffered some prolonged frustration and feelings of inadequacy, but then suffers some catastrophic loss. It is usually financial or the loss of a relationship. He doesn't hate his children, but he often hates his wife and blames her for his miserable life. He feels an overwhelming sense of his own powerlessness. He wants to execute revenge and the motive is almost always to "get even".'

Research from the States shows that family annihilators rarely have a prior criminal record. However, many experts believe there is often a prior pattern of domestic abuse. A report published two years ago in Britain by Women's Aid, called Twenty-nine child homicides, found that, out of 13 families studied, domestic violence was a feature in 11. In one of the other two cases, the mother spoke of her ex-partner's obsessively controlling behaviour.'To the outside world, these crimes seem to come out of nowhere,' continued Levin. 'The perpetrators have not previously been involved in criminal behaviour. Nor do they tend to be on drugs or drinking heavily when they commit the crime. However, if psychologists had seen them in advance, they would have spotted the warning signs. They would have noticed how the person reacted to things not going his way - the irrational rage and the blaming of others. These people often also regard their partner and children as their own possessions.'

In the majority of cases, if the perpetrator fails in his own suicide, as in the Hogan and Hall cases, they almost always plead some form of insanity.

But Levin rejected this: 'These are executions. They are never spontaneous. They are well planned and selective. They are not carried out in the heat of the moment or in a fit of rage. They are very methodical and it is often planned out for a long time. There are certain people the killer blames for his problems. If a friend came along, he wouldn't kill him or her. He kills his children to get even with his wife because he blames her and he hates her. The killer feels he has lost control. Annihilating his family is a way of regaining control. It is a methodical, selective murder by a rational, loving father. That's why it is so terrifying.'

Although these cases are more common than child murders by a stranger, they often do not receive the same media coverage. Part of the reason is that the perpetrator often takes his own life as well - meaning there is no court case. But Levin said he also felt people were reluctant to think too much about such abhorrent crimes.”

In conclusion, steroids certainly played a role in making Chris Benoit an unhealthy person, but there was a lot more that caused Benoit to have a complete mental breakdown and do what he did.

Benoit Part 1: How I Felt as the Story Broke

On Sunday I was about 30 minutes away from heading out to watch WWE’s pay per view when I read online that Chris Benoit wouldn’t be able to make it due to a “family emergency.” While it was out of the ordinary for Benoit to miss a show his absence was understandable given his reputation (obviously until Monday) as one of his profession’s preeminent family men. Since his match was my main motivation for going to watch it I decided to skip it.

Then Monday came along. I got a text from Angelina’s cousin asking what happened to Benoit, after sending a reply regarding his latest wrestling move (he was going to ECW), I figured something more serious might be what he meant. It was most certainly more serious.

As I logged onto the web I saw a picture of Benoit’s Face with 1967-2007 underneath it. After so many wrestling deaths I can’t say I was bowled over or anything to see that Benoit had died. Sure, I was still pretty surprised, but I had long worried that a guy built like Benoit, so much muscle with such a small frame, would eventually have his heart go out (ala Benoit’s best friend Eddie Guerrero). Then I read that his whole family had died, that’s when some shock set in. At first I figure something like carbon monoxide poisoning, but pretty quickly dismissed that as the police would have easily figured that out by the time I heard about the deaths. In a matter of minutes I quickly ran through the possible innocuous scenarios, but the rational side of me knew that none of the really could explain it.

By the time my sister called to make sure I had heard the news I had realized that this story would not be in any way normal and that there was no way for the entire Benoit family to be innocent. I had rationally figured there was a good chance Benoit had killed his family, but I still wasn’t able to fully comprehend it during the conversation. All I really thought at that time was that no matter what the story wound up being it was going to be really bizarre. In fact, Connie can probably attest to this fact as I continually repeated this thought during our conversation (probably more to reinforce this to myself than her).

Sadly, the situation was bizarre, way more bizarre than I figured then and it continue to get even more bizarre seemingly by the hour. Here’s how strange this whole thing is, my favorite active wrester died on Monday and I was never really sad about it, shocked for a few fleeting seconds, but never really sad. Moreover, I never will be sad about him dying. My thoughts and prayers still go out to the families impacted by this tragedy and others like it that occur all too often.

P.S. If you want to know where the best centralized location for news on the story is in my opinion I’d have to direct you to the Pro Wrestling Torch . It’s strange that a wrestling news site is the best place for real news, but then again this whole thing is strange.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rocky Jr. is My Neighbor

On top of all the other reasons Philadelphia (generally) and my apartment (specifically) are great here's one more. It's just to the right of the apartment building where Robert (Rocky Jr.) lives in Rocky Balboa. The Irish Pub that Rocky's son hangs out at after work (Pictured above and seen in 3 scenes in the film) is also across the street from my building. Ever since I moved in I thought it looked like the place in the movie, but I just today did some research and paused the movie to make sure since there is another Irish Pub like that in town.

Also, my building's entrance can be seen in one scene in the film. After Rocky's son exits the Irish Pub and heads across the street to his apartment (the building next to mine) Rocky stops him to let him know he's thinking of fighting again. Behind Rocky throughout the scene is the entrance to my place. If you've got the DVD this scene starts at 38 minutes and 54 seconds into the movie.

In a related note I played trivia at the bar next to the Irish Pub last night and it was pretty easy. So please people, come visit me so we can have a formidable team. As an added bonus we can reenact the scene from Rocky Balboa on the walk home across the street if you'd like. I'll even let you choose which character you'd like to be.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I'll Let Apollo Creed Speak For Me

After having lost my wallet and having somebody else eat my cheese steak you might think Philly would be annoying me by now, that's not the case. I'm still impressed with the town. There's pub trivia 5 nights a week (I did rather poorly last night), more historic American sites than you can imagine, a great job, friendly people (a surprise to me), great food, and highly informed baseball fans (since the Phillies are in the NL East it's easier to have a good conversation about the Marlins). To sum up my feelings on Philadelphia after one week here's a quote from Apollo Creed in Rocky 1 which I'm watching as I do laundry;

"Reporter: Apollo, how do you like the city of brotherly love?
Apollo Creed: Well, just being in Philadelphia makes me feel patriotic. Beautiful people in a beautiful city coming up to me on the street wishing me the best. I love my Philadelphia brothers and I'm proud to be an American."

Another Lesson from Philly

The first lesson was never pull money out of your wallet when you’re so tired you feel like a zombie. Today’s lesson is similar, never leave anything of your's unattended under any circumstances anywhere. Ever. Here’s the story.

I had my first cheese steak at Gino’s today, it’s the place across the street from Pat’s King of Steaks where a scene in Rocky was filmed. The food was great, but there's a lot more to this story.

After getting my order and sitting down I noticed that the tables had pictures of famous people who had eaten there, my table had a picture of Bill Clinton among others. I took one delicious bite out of my cheese steak and realized that I had forgotten to get napkins. So, I left my food and went about 10 feet to the condiment stand where I picked up my napkins. I tried to return to my table but noticed that my food wasn’t where it was before, but rather one table over which had a picture of Clay Aiken among others (what a step down). In addition to being in a new location there was a Gino’s “speak English” t-shirt and bumper sticker sitting there along with, what appeared to be, my cheese steak with a single bite taken out of it and a Pepsi. I was confused to say the least, I’m probably a little more patriotic than the average person, but I don’t think it’s so obvious that the owner’s of Gino’s would just throw free merchandise my way.

I decided I’d sit there for a little bit to make sure nobody wanted to claim the shirt, or what I thought was my sub. After about a minute and a half I decided I might as well eat, so I had the sub and decided to hand around a minute and see if somebody was missing a shirt. Eventually the guy one table over (in what turned out to be my original table), who looked startling similar to me, started to look for something. He turned around and asked if that was my shirt, I replied that it wasn’t it was just sitting there, so if he bought one it was probably his. At this point it became quite obvious to me that this guy had gone to get napkins at the same time I did and sat down at my table, so as a result we wound up eating each other’s subs with one bite taken out of them. While I had figured out what had happened, apparently the other guy didn’t, or just didn’t want to mention it. I sat there for a minute as he continued to eat, waiting for him to turn around and ask “hey, did we eat each other’s order’s?” but he never did. After a minute I thought that the whole interaction would be too awkward and just decided to leave.

I don’t know if the guy ever came to the realization that he ate my cheese steak and I his. Oh well, it tasted great no matter whose order it was.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Today's Reason to be Pround that You're an American:

We've got the hot dog eating record back!!!!!!

I've long been a fan of Takeru Kobayashi, the Japaneesse guy that comes over here every July 4th and wins the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. However, as much as I have enjoyed and respected Kobayashi's work I've also longed to see one of my countrymen rise up to challenge his gastrointestinal dominance. In last year's Nathan's Contest Joey Chestnut gave him a run for his money, this weekend Joey went ahead and took Kobayashi's record. Chestnut polished off 59 and a half hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes to win the southwest qualifier for this year's Nathan's Contest.

I'm thrilled we've got the record back, but don't get satisfied Joey, America needs you to take back that mustard yellow belt in about a month. If you need any motivation watch Rocky 4, it's always work for me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

First Night in Philly and Other Stuff

Remember last summer when the area where I worked always seemed to have slightly bizarre things happening around it? I'm not saying that where I live this summer will be anywhere near as entertaining as that, but out of my bedroom window I can see a Hollywood Tan tanning salon. I walked by while they were closing and saw the employees leaving. I guess they must get free tanning there or something because they looked like full sized Oompa-Loompas. Will these tanarexics be as menacing as last summer's chef infestation? I don't know, but it's a strong start.

In other news the Orlando Magic hired UF head coach Billy Donovan. I have mixed emotions about this. Yes, I'm a Cane, but I've never lost all of my affinity for the Gators and I really like what Billy had going on with UF's basketball program. With that said there was never a better time for him to leave than right now. So, hopefully UF can stay on track even with the loss of Donovan.

As for the analysis from the standpoint of the Magic; this move is easy to criticize, you can count on one hand the number of great college coaches who were able to successfully make the jump to the pros. With that said I still like this hire. The Magic have had a tendency to hire old(er) coaches that haven't exactly gotten all they could have out of younger players (though in many cases these young players were bad draft picks to begin with). The only exception to this was Doc Rivers, a younger coach who, for a time, got a lot out of role players and younger guys who hadn't been given a chance yet (Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, etc). Basically my hope is this, the young and flashy Donovan focuses on getting as much as he can from his very talented young base (Nelson, Darko, Ariza, and Howard) while we hopefully see some return on the investments in younger players who we draft like Redick, who Brian Hill hardly even tried to use last year.

Can Donovan be one of the few college coaches to make the jump successfully? Nobody knows, but he's got a great foundation so it's all pretty much up to him.

Lebron is this year's Wade and other stuff

After D-Wade had his coming out party in last year's playoffs it looks like Lebron figured it was time for his coming out party in this year's playoffs. Last night he had 48 points in the Cavs double OT victory in Detroit. Even more amazingly Lebron had 29 of the Cavs last 30 points, including all of the team's last 25 points. This is why I love basketball, because one man can load a team up on his back and will them to victory if he is good enough. In no other sport can this happen in exactly the same way; football: no, to many different position and you only play one side of the ball. Baseball: Same. Hockey & Soccer: If your goalie isn't good you don't have a chance.
Now I'm just waiting for the D-Wade vs Lebron match up in the playoffs. It's coming, hopefully next year.

I made it through security and am flying without an ID again. I'll be in Philly for the summer by 7:00 tonight. I'm very excited.