Posts Tagged New Jersey Nets

The Evangelical Church of Jordan

Jordan Ascends

The Year is 2223.  Reverend Scott E. Pippen the 29th stands in front of his congregation of 24,000 with his arms raised high in the air.  He is a tall man, about 6 feet 8.  He is wearing a gown with the number 23 embroidered on the front in gold.  He is up on a stage with a golden basketball hoop mounted behind him.  A hush falls over the capacity crowd.

 “Today, I’d like to talk to you about greatness.  Many religions have valued different things over the years.  Some of the religions praised self-restraint, while others loved commitment and dedication.  These qualities can be very good things, but their followers seemed to miss the bigger point.  Trying really hard is not enough.  In order to truly be worthy of God’s love you must win!”

“AMEN!!!!”  screams a parishioner.

The people of olden times used to worship martyrs!  Do you believe it?  They would cast their lot with people who tried really hard….but lost!  Those martyrs were great men, but they couldn’t figure out how to triumph over evil.  Sure, they would say that some of their martyrs rose from the dead, but many people had trouble believing that part.  There wasn’t enough proof.  Maybe they were successful, but they weren’t able to pull it off on the big stage!  I mean, most messiahs wouldn’t make it in the NBA as a 12th man for the New Jersey Nets.  For years, we could only choose between this losing messiah, that losing messiah or sometimes a messiah that hadn’t even shown up yet!  Can you believe it people?”

“NO!!!!!”  shouted the crowd wildly.

 “Thankfully, on February 17th, 1963, that holiest of days, Michael Jordan was born in a barn in Brooklyn, New York.  As a child, Jordan was a good player, but certainly not the messiah we know him as today.  Everyone by now has heard the story of how he was cut from his High School basketball team.  This was the first in a series of setbacks for His Airness, but each time he was given an obstacle, he learned how to climb over it and most importantly HOW…..TO…….WIN!!!!!!

The crowd bursts into thunderous applause.

When Georgetown tried to slow him down in the 1982 NCAA Final…HE WON!  When the Pistons and Celtics stopped him early in his career he came back and….HE WON!!!!  When the Knicks attacked and beat him game after game he rose up and….HE WON!!!!!!  When Jordan retired for the third time, after his sixth NBA title everyone thought that was finished.  Then, as a 60 year old man, Jordan returned to the NBA and led the Chicago Bulls to four more titles.  Age tried to beat him down but…..HE WON!!!!!”

“JUST DO IT!!!!”  screams the crowd.

“Those old-fashioned religions used to talk about an afterlife.  They were preaching the gospel of weakness.  Today, we know that the dead are just quitters!  When Jordan turned 100 he proclaimed that he would never die.  He went up to his basketball court built on the side of the greatest mountaintop and that is where he is still today.  No one has talked to him in years, but he has promised that one day he will not only return to us, but return to the NBA.  One day, when you go to your weekend sports temple to show your commitment to God and your home team he will emerge from the tunnel and HE…..WILL……PLAY………….AGAIN!!!!!!!!”

“YES!!!!!”    “JUST DO IT!!!!!!”   “AMEN!!!!!!”

 “Those old fashioned religions told you that God loved everyone.  Jordan taught us that they were wrong!  The truth is that GOD LOVES A WINNER!  You prove your devotion to him not by being beaten down by the opponent but though VICTORY!  God has no time for losers.  He will not give you a trophy just for competing.  He has no time for lesser men.  He is not going to hold your hand and tell you it is okay to fail.  God values results!  The simple truth is that God Hates Losers!!!!”

“PREACH IT!!!!”  JUST DO IT!!!!”

 “Jordan came to save us all from the pain and humiliation of losing.  Whenever there is someone buying a pair of His Sneakers….HE’LL BE THERE!  Whenever there is a team the overcomes the evil of losing….HE’LL BE THERE!  And when we buy His shoes and praise His name and WHEN WE WIN……….HE’LL………BE……….THERE…..……TOOOOOO!”

The crowd erupts into a screaming, howling frenzy.

“And now I present to you the top ranked choir in the entire world….The beautiful and talented Jordan-Airs!!!!!!

The choir begins to sing and basketball players in different throwback Jordan uniforms dunk golden basketballs into the hoop above the stage…

“To The Temple of Jordan Our Savior Went One Day,
And We Read That Phil The Baptist Met Him There,
And When Jordan Scored 60 in the Finals Versus Philly
The Mighty Power of God Filled The Air.

I’m On My Way
To The Temple of Jordan
Were Going To Win
At The Temple of Jordan
And Victory Will Cleanse My Soul”

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To Be And Not To Be

Sometimes simple written juxtapositions can simply shutdown the inner workings of one’s mind.  Zen Buddhism uses koans for this exact purpose.  Mediating on the sound of one hand clapping or why Joshu would bother cutting a cat in half with a pair of shoes on his head are the psychological equivalent of throwing the emergency brake on a Ford Escort while doing 110 miles per hour on the Santa Monica Freeway.  If a person pays attention and is tuned into the general weirdness of the universe it becomes apparent that these bizarre feats of language are everywhere.

This evening I found one such “accidental” koan on Yahoo Sports. It managed to make all of the synapses in my brain stop dead in their tracks.  The current sports media obsession revolves around the potential trade of basketball star Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets.  About an hour ago, I read a headline that said “Anthony To Meet With Nets”. Below it was a headline that said, with equal certainty, “Nets Not Meeting With Anthony”.

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!

If these two headlines are read together they can cause severe damage to one’s cerebellum.  How can Carmelo Anthony meet with the Nets while the Nets are not meeting with him?  Does this mean that Anthony is in the room with members of Nets management who are spontaneously ignoring him?  The Nets are trying to trade for him….why would they be so outwardly hostile towards him?  Imagine Carmelo busting into a hotel room filled with Nets brass watching the All-Star 3-point shooting contest.  At first, Carmelo talks softly, then he shouts and screams, but the Nets front office simply sits silently avoiding whatever Carmelo does.  They shun him.  Carmelo jumps in front of the television, he begins to sing the theme song from “Green Acres”, he pulls his liver out of his body and begins chewing on it….no response.  What am I to make of these conflicting headlines?!?!?!

I need to know how this is possible.  Maybe the two things ARE happening at the same time.  Carmelo is in an alternate universe discussing his plans to go to New Jersey while in another dimension the Nets refuse to meet with him.  Maybe there are two Carmelo Anthonys in this world and two sets of different Nets.  Carmelo A is meeting with Nets A while Carmelo B and Nets B avoid each other.  What if these two dimensions simultaneously converged upon on another and Anthony was traded to the Nets while he remained untraded?  The Nets of the Nether Dimension would have added a 20 point per game scorer while the Nets of our current universe would still be stuck with Devin Harris and a bunch of guys in the witness protection program.  What if the Nether Dimension Nets played the Carmeloless real world Nets?  Who would win?  If Carmelo scores 22 points in the Nether Dimension and 20 in the real universe, does it mean he’s scored 42 points?  How would the NBA possibly track these statistics? Wouldn’t he have an advantage over, say,  Kobe Bryant who is currently only allowed to play in one dimension?

What if the Nets got crafty and traded for BOTH Carmelo Anthonys?  This would probably kill their salary cap number but they would have added two All-Star caliber players.  I wonder if the two could co-exist?  Is there room in New Jersey for one Carmelo Anthony?  How about two?  If the Nets learn to master the art of dimensional travel it is entirely possible that they could assemble a team of all Carmelo Anthonys.  Twelve 20 point per game scorers on one team!?!?!  They’d average 240 points per game!!!!  They’d win the NBA title four or five times possibly in the same year.  What if other teams caught on to their multi-dimensional strategy?  LeBron James’ PR image issue would be gone.  He could simply sign with EVERY team in the NBA.  They’d love him again…EVERYWHERE!  In other sports this could be huge.  The Yankees would certainly go out and sign Albert Pujols 47 times.  They’d have Albert Pujols selling tickets, serving hotdogs, playing first base, exterminating bugs, and on and on and on.

Eventually, it is possible to create a worldwide army of Carmelo’s marching towards endless victory. Millions upon millions of Carmelos pulled from millions of different dimensions.  Imagine an enemy army trying to hold a city when thousands of 6’9 small forwards come racing over a wall.  Who could stop them?  They could forever change the world balance of power.  What if a foreign government got their hands on a Carmelo dimensional prototype?  They could create a nation of anti-American Carmelo Anthonys.  The thought is terrifying.

Maybe I’ve taken this too far.  I’m no longer sure of anything. I was having a perfectly normal night trying to find You Tube clips of professional boxers fighting kangaroos when this madness seeped into my brain.  Yahoo owes me a basic explanation as to how a man can be doing something and not doing it at the same time.  I will not rest until I’ve gotten one.

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Ester of Wood Rosin: The Miracle Preservative that Works Miracles

An Oasis of Hope???

Today I’d like to talk to you about a preservative that has been given a bad reputation over the years.  Many people believe that because ester of wood rosin is made from wood or that its chemical cousin ester gum is used in paints, lacquers and varnishes, that it is something that they should avoid drinking.  People who think this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have found, through days and days of careful research, that it is, in fact, a wonderous creation that has transformative, healing powers.

I came to this discovery by accident.  I was in my home working on my model airplane collection and I cut my finger.  I did not have a band aid, gauze  or any soy sauce handy to stop the bleeding.  Not wanting to ruin my scale model reconstruction of Delta’s first DC-10 airplane, I took the can of Fresca I was drinking and poured it directly on the wound.  I wasn’t sure what might happen but you can imagine my surprise when the bleeding stopped and the wound closed within about 10 seconds.  This was a rather large cut that should have required stiches, but the Fresca seemed to heal it right away.

I started to wonder why this happened so I looked at the can of Fresca.  The ingredients seemed rather normal (EDTA, acesulfame potassium, brominated vegetable oil, carob bean gum).  I looked each of the ingredients up and found nothing that piqued my interest until I got to ester of wood rosin.  With one search of the internet, my entire life changed forever.  Apparently, a scientist named Dr. Arnold Kreifeld conducted a study near Harvard University back in 2003 where he tested the effects of ester of wood rosin on injuries.  Kreifeld’s assistants cut the arms of 100 study participants with razor blades.  They then poured water on the wounds of half the participants and Fresca or Tahitian Treat (both drinks with large amounts of ester of wood rosin) on the other half.  The half that were treated with ester of wood rosin showed significant improvement compared to the other group.  Kreifeld, who is currently in Leavenworth Federal Prison for sending “suspicious” packages to news broadcasters, had stumbled on to the medical discovery of the decade, perhaps the century.  Kreifeld first gained a great deal of recognition as a researcher for the tobacco industry back in the late 1980s.  During his time there he co-authored a monumental study that showed that long term cigarette use leads to increased IQ scores.  As important as his earlier work was, it is clear that his work in the field of ester of wood rosin research could have changed much of how we view medicine today.  Had he not been imprisoned on trumped up charges, he’d be viewed with the same reverence as great medical minds like Jonas Salk, Hippocrates and Dr. Oz.

Deeply impressed with Dr. Kreifeld’s work, I decided to do a few experiments of my own.  For one month, I bathed my two young children exclusively in Fresca.  This was quite an expensive proposition (it takes nearly 17 cans of Fresca to fill a bath tub), but it was a sacrifice I needed to make for the good of mankind.  My son, who we will refer to as Mortimer for the purposes of this post, has grown 29 inches since the experiment began.  Mortimer, who at 3 years old stands nearly 6 feet tall, has already gotten recruiting phone calls from The University of Kentucky, The New Jersey Nets and The Ringling Brothers Circus.  Thanks to ester of wood rosin, his future is bright.

I began pouring two cans of Fresca over my head per day, one first thing in the morning, one during afternoon visitation, and I have watched my head go from looking like bowling ball to having long, flowing Fabio-esque hair.  My wife, who recently suffered a broken leg in a waterskiing accident, was injected with Fresca once a night during her sleep for two weeks.  The doctors said it would take 3 months for her leg to heal;  it took 9 days.  I took a syringe to a local senior center down the street and randomly injected an 82 year old woman.  With one surprise injection of ester of wood rosin, she went from barely able to walk to turning double back flips while singing the opening song from Guys and Dolls.

Fresca is not the only soft drink with ester of wood rosin, but I prefer it because of it’s tangy flavor.  There are many drinks that contain this miracle of modern science.  Several government military contractors and food conglomerates are considering creating ester of wood rosin supplements which may be on the shelf at your local supermarket within the next few years. Until then, you’ll have to stick to drinking soft drinks to get the health benefits of this little wonder. When you are staring at your birthday cake and looking at 146 candles, you’ll thank me for this great bit of advice.

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