Trivial Opinions

My weekly trivial opinions on life, sports, movies and more!

Archive for June, 2008

Why the WNBA is a joke

Posted by Jack Deus on June 25, 2008

I was checking out the main stories on today and saw the headline “Sparks’ Parker does it again: 2nd dunk in 2 days” and knew it was a slow sports day. I mean, seriously, one of the top 10 sports stories is that a basketball player dunked for the second straight game? I wonder how much David Stern had to pay the editors of to get someone to write a story about the WNBA, much less to get them to feature it on the home page.

I could see how this would be worthy news if it was a grade-school or middle-school league, but this is a professional basketball league. Dunks are a part of the game of basketball, so, just like 3-pointers, awesome behind-the-back passes, and blocked shots, they should happen regularly not be news-worthy.

The point of the article, I think, is to drum up excitement for the WNBA and be a positive article about the league. It seems to me that it failed, though. The article is supposed to show that the women’s game can be just as exciting as the men’s game because the most exciting play in basketball can take place in the women’s game. However, if the league has been around for 10 years (as the WNBA has) and it is still big news that a player dunked in back-to-back games, then all the article proves is that the dunk is a very rare play. If devoted main-page articles to every NBA player that dunked twice in one game, let alone in back-to-back games the entire main page would be full of stories about LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, and on and on. Basically, there would be nothing but stories about NBA player dunking. I think what I am trying to say is that the WNBA needs to realize that it is a niche sport and stop trying to legitimize itself to the world. Take the fans you have and be happy you have any at all.


Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Head Trauma

Posted by Jack Deus on June 18, 2008

I just found out that my mom’s brother (aka my uncle) was in a pretty bad accident last night. From what I was able to gather he was riding a bike, got too close to the top of a retaining wall, fell off and crushed his skull. He is currently in an ICU in a coma. The docs said there are three things that could likely happen. Best case scenario is he wakes up and has to spent the rest of his life in an assisted living center. The other two scenarios are he wakes up and is basically a vegetable or he won’t wake up.

This post isn’t really about his head trauma, though. It is about mine. When my wife called and told me the news I basically didn’t react. I said “Damn, that sucks,” and sent IMs to two of my friends to talk it over with them, but I didn’t have an urge to cry or anything close to it. I really didn’t even need to talk about it, I just sent the messages because it was something to talk about. If I were walking down the street with a frined and he stepped in some gum, I would basically react the same way I did to this news.

For all of you amateur (or professional) pyshiatrists reading this you are probably thinking, “Jack Deus must be in the first stage of the Kubler-Ross model (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) for dealing with grief.” To this I would tell you that you are wrong. I am not in denial about the fact that my uncle might die. Nor am I angry, bargaining, or depressed by it. As far as I can tell, I didn’t experience any of the first four steps of this model, I jumped straight to acceptance.

It is the fact that I jumped straight to acceptance that bothers me more (and quite significantly more) than the news of my uncle. After my wife called I kept sitting at my desk at work thinking, “I should be crying, or at least choked-up by this.” It worries me that I don’t feel anything because of this tragedy. And it’s not the only time. Five or six years ago, my dad’s brother committed suicide and I went straight to acceptance then, also. The only time I got emotional at all about his death was when my dad was giving the eulogy and he started crying in front of everyone. I got a little misty-eyed, looked away for a few seconds and was fine.

I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember when I went from being a big baby (as I was when I was a kid) to stoic, practically emotionless robot and I can’t find one event that might have started or continued me on this path. If any shrinks out there (amateur or professional) think you might have an answer as to why I am able to skip the first four steps in the Kubler-Ross model, please send me a message because I’d really like to know. And as G.I. Joe once taught me, knowing is half the battle.

Posted in It happened to me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mythbusters – The South

Posted by Jack Deus on June 16, 2008

My wife and I drove down to Arkansas recently to visit her brother who works for a newspaper in Jonesboro. While we were there we drove to Memphis, TN for a day and a half to see the sites there. Throughout the trip I noticed a few things that I thought would make an interesting Mythbusters episode. Following are three myths about the south I will investigate.

Myth 1 – Southern Hospitality

The myth is everyone down south is really friendly compared to the rest of the regions of the United States. My theory was that being from the Midwest (where people are also refuted to be quite nice) that I wouldn’t notice the friendly people because I am used to it already.

In general, I didn’t notice people on the street being overly nice. I didn’t feel like I stepped into an episode of Pleasantville or anything. However, in almost every restaurant we went, the staff was extremely courteous and actually seemed genuinely concerned that everything about our eating experience was wonderful. The most surprising place as when we were coming back from Memphis and we stopped at a fast food place called Krystal’s. There, the person at the counter greeted us when we entered the restaurant, everyone smiled at us as we were standing at the counter ordering our food, and a worker came over and asked if everything was OK as we were eating. Basically, we got the service of a fairly upscale sit-down restaurant while we were at a fast-food place.

Myth: Confirmed!

Myth 2 – Elvis

The myth is that everyone in the south goes crazy for and still loves Elvis, even though he died over 30 years ago.

While we were in Memphis, we visited Graceland. Obviously I need to take any observations there with a grain a salt, seeing as how everyone visiting Elvis’s home would obviously be a fan of him. Also, not everyone visiting Graceland would be from the south. For the most part, touring Elvis’s home at Graceland seemed like just about any other tourist attraction anywhere in the US. We went during the week, so the lines weren’t very long, but there were still quite a few people there. Nothing about the people on the tour made me think the myth was true. That is, nothing was noteworthy until we walked outside to Elvis and his family’s burial plot. As we were walking towards the graves, we observed a woman in her 40’s or 50’s sitting on a little bench just before them, balling her eyes out. The way she was crying, it made me think someone had either stabbed her with a knife in the kidney, or she was Elvis’s mom and he had just died within the past week. There were also a few other people in line who had tears rolling down their cheeks.

That evidence alone just proves that people are psycho for Elvis, even to this day. I can’t say for sure whether the wailing lady or the others who were crying were all from the south. The only evidence of that I observed while we were driving back and someone from Arkansas had a vanity license plate that read “Elvis P.”

Myth: Plausible.

Myth 3 – White trash / southern belles

The myth is that a lot of the people in the south look and act like white trash, which is why southern belles are so revered: it is like finding a diamond in a pile of horse manure.

First observation, usually when you stand in line at an attraction there are mostly plain looking people, a few attractive people, and a few unattractive people. In the line for Graceland, there were mostly unattractive people, with a few plain looking people, and virtually no attractive people. Most people were wearing tank tops with beer advertisements, and hats with Nascar logos on them.

Second observation, while driving around Arkansas and Tennessee, I noticed that almost half of the cars on the road had some combination of fishing, hunting, and Nascar references on them. Granted, being a fan of any of those things doesn’t necessarily make a person white trash, it is probably a good indicator.

Third observation, while driving back from Jonesboro, I noticed a billboard. The first thing that caught my eye was the giant forty-something lady in curlers, a ratty pink housecoat, and no makeup staring at me. For those of you who have never taken a marketing class, I will let you in on a little secret: sex sells-so make sure to have attractive people in your visual advertisements. Next to the lady was giant block letters stating “Make her happy. Yes size does matter.” You are probably wondering what was this unusual billboard was advertising… Double-wide trailers. I don’t know of anything more associated with white trash than trailers.

White trash people are definitely not sparse in the south, but I wasn’t able to find much actual evidence of why southern belles are so sought after (or even if they exist).

Myth: Plausible.

Well, I am 3 for 3 in proving myths about about the south are at least plausible. If anyone reading this knows someone who works for Mythbusters and/or the Discovery channel, have Adam or Jaime give me a call. I would love to do an episode or ten with them.

Posted in Humorous, It happened to me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »