A Fan’s Notes on Paul Pierce

Dancing With Noah

As a kid in junior high and high school, I was a basketball fanatic. College, pros, high school, didn’t matter. Late summers and early falls were for consuming glossy-covered pre-season hoop publications like Athlon and Lindy’s, and less aesthetically attractive magazine covers like Sporting News and Sports Illustrated, I was source agnostic. Growing up in the not-so-fertile basketball world of Des Moines, Iowa, I was partial towards the hoop prospects my state produced and none had me as giddy as Raef LaFrentz. A 6’11” knee-knocked kid from some foreign outpost of school called MFL Monona-Marmac. The first I’d heard of Raef was in the Des Moines Register when he was named to the all-state team as a junior after averaging 36-points, 16-rebounds, and six blocks. His senior year was waylaid by a bout with mono, but seeing him at the State Tournament that year, I knew he’d be legit…

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The comfort of feeling small

My first story at NBC Sports

NBC SportsWorld

It was a quiet cadence that he continued to repeat, rarely venturing beyond five simple words:

“Uno … dos … tres … quarto … cinto.”

Cade, my 5-year-old son, counted on his small, chunky fingers — often whispering incorrect numbers in Spanish to himself, seated next to me as I watched a San Antonio Spurs game. New to kindergarten this year, he’s been exposed to an entire new world of learning, a big part of which involves immersion in the Spanish language. E-mails from his teacher come in sets  —  one paragraph is written in English and the message is subsequently repeated in Spanish. All communication in his school is delivered similarly. Each directive is relayed verbally or in writing in both languages.

To be completely honest, his educational environment, and the journey he’s only just begun  — one that already looks and feels a lot different than the one I took —  is a bit daunting and occasionally…

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The time I joined the Father’s Day Club

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We cleaned the house daily for at least a month prior to the big day. I was often asked to wipe down the cabinets again and I lovingly did so, every time. I suppose there was also a degree of fear involved as her mood swings during that last month were glorious. We’d be enjoying our Sonic footlong chili cheese dogs (the food of choice for the first baby) when suddenly I’d get in serious trouble for the way I parked. I also got in trouble if I ever took a bite of fried rice while standing up.

So I knew to keep my head down and wipe those cabinets. I also started parking down the block and walking home. And I made damn sure to pile enough fried rice on my plate so I could eat every bite while sitting.

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Your Chuck Norris Action Jeans have been discontinued

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There are moments when men long for days gone by, for simpler times. The action advertisement above, featuring a vibrant and beardless Chuck Norris kicking ass, is one of those moments. In this land of milk and honey, where everyone gets whatever they want, whenever they want, why can’t men like us go out and buy some Action Jeans so we can better perform our activities?

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Pringles are for the wild

The men are reluctant to talk about it openly, but from what I can gather the first time was a disaster.

Sometimes when its really late and most have retired to their tents Keith and Steve will talk about the horrors in very vague terms. While nursing the night’s final Rum & Coke they stare hollow-eyed into the glowing embers of the camp fire. It’s cathartic for them to share their memories with each other, so I slink down in my chair hoping they forget I’m there.

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The dream is dead, long live the dream

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I began my controversial campaign to have Bob Seger kicked out of America almost a year ago. At times it felt as if the movement was gaining ground and I could vividly picture the washed-up, old, whiney singer crying as he was hauled away, forced to live out his days in some foreign land.

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Mony Mony: Unraveling the mystery behind the song’s never written lyric

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Recently Nissan launched an ad promoting the sale of their Sentra model which featured the longtime party anthem “Mony Mony,” as its centerpiece. The ad is upbeat and catchy, which does a terrible disservice to those of us that will be paying for a wedding in the next decade or two. If in fact the song finds new life and DJ’s feel compelled to play the song (and its accompanying mystery, crowd-sung lyric) at gatherings nationwide, we as paying parents are doomed.

The commercial also made me wonder: what mad genius came up with the words that seem to fit so seamlessly into the song and are now considered a perfectly normal third stanza?

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Celebrating Tim Duncan on Halloween: It’s the best time

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On a chilly Sunday afternoon last March, Tim Duncan was putting the final touches on his pre-game activities before heading onto the court for one of his subtle routines– hugging the basketball before handing it to the referee. He’d already sky-hooked his warm-ups high into the air towards the training staff. He’d tucked, re-tucked, and tucked again his jersey. With only seconds to spare before the tip he reached for the bottle of roll-on talc that sits on the edge of the scorer’s table next to Gregg Popovich’s paper cup and Boris Diaw’s hand lotion. He silently rubbed some into his hands and on the front of his jersey.

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