Faculty, parents, guardians, people who paid tuition and students who have so much debt that they will be pruning hedges in the quad for the next four generations to try and get back to zero: You embark today into a bold new world in which the following things are possible:
• The San Antonio Spurs’ margins of victory in the postseason are 5, 4, 6, 23 (Dallas), 24, 17, 15, 22 (Portland), 17 and 35 (Oklahoma City) points. People who think they know stuff will say, “Gregg Popovich made the necessary adjustments, and good coaches do.” People who KNOW stuff will say, “Dallas coach Rick Carlisle deserves a great whopping raise.”
• People are already afraid of a Spurs-Miami Heat final because they just saw one a year ago. Never mind that the final was great entertainment, or that the Heat and Spurs are two of the great dysnasties (or dynasty-ettes) in the post Magic-Bird Era. If it isn’t Lakers-Celtics, some people can never be happy, so I propose a finals between these Lakers and these Celtics. See how you like them road apples.
• The Los Angeles Kings, who are so defense-minded and grinder-hockey aficionados and coached by a stern, artless taskmaster (Darryl Sutter), have won their nine playoff games by 3, 3, 3, 4, 1, 2, 1, 4 and 4 goals -– and since generously spotting the outmanned San Jose Things three games because they are such noble sportsmen, they have outscored their assembled foes, 44-25. I guess this means they also have some offense, do more than grind and have a coach who knows his whatnots and whoforths. But that’s not the prevailing narrative, so there you go.
• The San Francisco 49ers give every indication of being more interested in winning football games than in being stern but cruel taskmasters to an employee (Aldon Smith) with wayward behavioral patterns. If you are surprised by this in any way, you should start your schooling over again because you missed The First Law Of Everything –- You are always worth what your boss’ wallet says you are, no more, no less, and for no further than you can keep filling it.
• Fifty U.S. Senators, none of them Republicans, have urged the Washington Mammalian Football Players to change their nickname. What this means in real terms is that 200 seats on the suite level at FedEx Field just came open. It also means that when Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell says, “Listen, it’s hard to get 50 people in this place to agree on anything,” you must double over in laughter because the problem is not that it’s hard to get 50 people in that place to agree on anything, but that it’s hard to get 51 people in that place to agree on anything, which is why nothing is ever accomplished.
• Your chances of acquittal if you are accused of a crime in Alabama go to approximately 96 percent if you tell the arresting officers after they read you your rights, “Roll Tide.” It’s better than having Joe Pesci as your lawyer.
• You never do well if you approach a freshly fired coach or manager (say, David Moyes) of your favorite team (say, Manchester United) in a bar and want to have a frank chat about, you know, things.
• You (Mark Cuban) should always consider the question, “Who would you cross the street to avoid?” and answer it only one way: “Well, you, for starters.” And then cross the street.
• If you work for a minor league baseball team (say, the Akron Rubber Ducks), and someone says, “Hey, how about we have a Devo Bobblehead Night?” you should immediately suggest Funkadelic, Todd Rundgren and The Ghost of Gil Scott-Heron Bobblehead Night as well. And keep your resume updated.
• If you want to have kids, and they want to play football, make damned sure they never walk by the team’s medicine cabinet, ever, even for a headache, a tissue or an Emergen-C. Ever, you hear me?
• Landon Donovan’s exclusion from the U.S. World Cup team will remind us all that nobody ever admits that players that were admired a decade ago actually age.
• Hunter Pence is the greatest player in baseball history to have no apparent control of any of his limbs.
And finally, students, don’t say you did something when you didn’t. Say, like Dick Parsons, the new caretaker of the Los Angeles Clippers, who has said and whose biography states he played basketball at the University of Hawaii, actually didn’t play. In other words, the Clippers apparently either attract fibbers or create an atmosphere where fibbing is considered a job requirement.
Why, it makes me doubt whether Doc Rivers is an actual doctor. And thank you, students, for your attention.