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Saturday, November 26, 2011

National Boredom Association

I suppose, as a sports fan, I should be happy that NBA team owners and players have reached a tentative deal to end their lockout and avoid canceling an entire season.  The National Hockey League canceled an entire season several years ago, and they still haven't regained the dozens of fans they had before that labor dispute.  I'd hate to see basketball become just so much hockey.

At the same time, I find it hard to get overly excited about the coming season.  Maybe this is just a side effect of being a Knicks fan.  But maybe not.  I'd like to say my lack of enthusiasm stems from the fact that, as part of the 99%, I got turned off by squabbles between a bunch of multi-millionaire players and billionaire owners who shut down their industry because they couldn't reach agreement on how to divide an enormous pie.  Adding insult to injury, the ultimate agreement essentially calls for owners and players to split league revenues fifty-fifty: a big pay cut for the players (who previously earned about 57% of revenue), but in the end the kind of incredibly simple solution that a grade-school student could have come up with months ago.

I'd like to say that's why I'm unenthusiastic, but I don't think that's it, either.

I think what I'm feeling stems from a fact that I'm only now coming to realize: Most regular-season basketball games are, frankly, dull as dirt.  Many of the games are complete mismatches--say, the Miami Heat against the Cleveland Cavaliers, or the Cleveland Cavaliers against absolutely anybody.  And even games between two competitive teams are essentially just back and forth affairs that don't really become interesting until the final five minutes or so.  And the season just drags on forever--66 games in this thankfully shortened season but 82 games in a normal year--so that any one game really doesn't matter all that much.

I suppose if my Knicks find themselves competitive, my apathy may dissipate.  Otherwise, just wake me for the playoffs.

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