The Great Plotnik

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Crybabies Versus Shmlakers: GAME SEVEN!

Elgin! We may need ya tonight!

So, the Stiletto City Shmlakers got a big break for tonight's Big Game Seven Duck's Delight against the absolutely dreaded and despised Beantown Crybabies. The big enemy center is injured and can't play. That doesn't mean the Crybabies won't win, it just makes things harder for them.

What? The ground is dry under Plotnik's tear ducts? He's not feeling sad for poor Beantown?

It's hard for people a generation younger than Plotnik to remember when Stiletto City felt like a small town, but that's the way it was in the 1950s when the Cleveland Rams moved there to become the L.A. Rams, the Plotzers left Brooklyn to become the L.A. Plotzers and in 1961 the Minneapolis Lakers left the lakes behind to become the L.A. Shmlakers.

All of a sudden, pro sports teams were on the West Coast. But the West Coast wasn't really ready for them. In Stiletto City there was only one large venue, the L.A. Coliseum, which had been built for the 1932 Olympics. When the Shmlakers announced they were moving, they built a small arena next to it called The Sports Arena. The Rams and the Plotzers played at the Coliseum and the Shmlakers played next door. So if you wanted to see a pro game, you had to go downtown.

Plotnik loved going to the Sports Arena. It was small. The neighborhood ain't exactly Beverly Hills now and it was about the same then.

Once, Plotnik left the Coliseum after a night game and on his way back to his car, which was parked on one of the side streets, he saw a bunch of guys stuff a body into the trunk of their car. Oh, you couldn't mistake it. A makeshift sheet, blood all over it, hands falling out of it, four guys straining to carry it, wham and in ya go.

Teenage Plottie stared at those guys. They stared at him. He kept walking. Parked on a different street next time.

It was also at the Coliseum where Plotnik's stepdad Harold took him to see the Plotzers play the Braindeads. Since Harold died in 1959 we're gonna assume this was 1958. They stopped for lunch first, got to the game late, in the bottom of the First. The problem was the Braindeads had scored eight runs off Carl Erskine in the top of the First. The final score was 8-0. Talk about missing the action.

Harold was always late for everything except the most important thing, when he got there early.

At the Sports Arena you could sit up close and they'd let you stand right in back of the baskets while the teams took their warmups. It was the first time Plotnik realized just how BIG these guys are. Elgin Baylor looked like an average-sized guy on TV but up close he was a mighty mighty brick house. You can't stand on the court anymore, even during practice, even you're Jack Nicholson.

(You probably don't know that Elgin Baylor was on the Minneapolis Laker DC-3 that crash-landed during a snow storm in a frozen Iowa corn field in 1960. The next year they moved the team West.)

The Boston Garden was even older. There were famous sections of the floor where the ball wouldn't bounce right. The Crybabies knew all those spots. The Shmlaker players never seemed to be able to figure it out. Beantown always won Game Sevens at the old Garden.

But they tore down Boston Garden and built a new place for the Babies. The Shmlakers moved too, first to the Forum in Inglewood during the Magic Johnson years, and then moved again to their current home back downtown at the Staples Center.

They tore down the Forum. It was next to the racetrack, Hollywood Park. They tore that down too.

Game Sevens are special. NBA championships and baseball World Series are both Best of Seven. When one team plays the other one seven games in a row, each one knows everything there is about the other team. The superstars do their thing like they always do and the coaches coach like they always do. The only variable is that one player who nobody expected to rise up always does so and dominates the game. The team with that player wins.

Who will it be? Somebody please stick a voodoo pin into Rajan Rondo.

Plotnik is trying to work up enough hatred for the Crybabies but he has to admit he likes them. He just hopes they lose.


At 9:18 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

Lots of nice history in today's lesson. I love that this series went seven games and I really love that tonight's game was actually close (with the Lakers losing for a LOT of the game).

It's not easy to admit, but my West Coast Bias was hoping for a Laker win. SInce the Dodgers lost, I'm OK.


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