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- The Narrative: Thoughts and Prayers From the PUBG Hellscape – August 9, 2019
“Just..go back. Pretend the whole thing never happened.”
When last they met, the Miami Heat had finished off a wire to wire beatdown over the Nets. Last Tuesday however, the story was much different. It’s hard to know what to expect out of this squad without Caris LeVert for at least the next few months. Before the injury, I felt as though they were almost assuredly going to compete for the 8th, or maybe even the 7th spot in the playoffs. What’s a 7th or 8th seed worth? For the perpetually neutral franchises it might mean another year of stagnation, but for Brooklyn, any playoff position would signify that they are years ahead of schedule on a rebuild.
After the injury Brooklyn became a ship taking on water. Having recently shown real progress by knocking off the 76ers and Nuggets, momentum was destroyed, and the losses began to pile up and it started to look as though they might be careening out of control. As it would turn out, they still may be. But for a night, they were able to take it to the team that had taken it to them. Maybe it is a bad thing that they were able to win this game, for it gave me hope, which would not last long.
What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes?
It’s a tribute to D-Wade. God, I know he probably meant it out of respect, but it would kill me to see people coloring their shoes with my number, as if I was dead. But for real, he might as well be for a superstar to have gone 5-2-2 in 14 minutes played.
I should probably talk about my outburst at the end of last weeks post. I had an insecure moment. I actually thought it was a really good post. I feel much more comfortable doing this once a week as opposed to having to keep firing up a shot after each and every game. Some games are on the west coast. The west coast absolutely laughs at my early morning work schedule.
But to be honest, I don’t know if anybody is reading this thing. I’m just tossing something out into the vacuum of the Internet and trusting that people like it. But there’s always a voice in the back of my head questioning whether it’s landing. You guys like soccer and the NFL a lot more than I do. And I know enough about the NFL to hold my own in any conversation so long as that conversation is not “Did you just see what happened in this random game?” because the answer is always, “Probably not.” Mostly because you are not talking about the New York Giants, and even if you are, man, I watched 14 New York Giants games last year and it damn near killed me. I’m not avoiding them per se, but I seem to be a lot busier whenever they’re playing. Life is funny that way. My point is, I know that Patrick My Homes is very good, the Eagles are suddenly very bad, and the Cowboy fans remain the dregs of the earth. Fun fact: That absolute scumbag in town who is not so secretly dating a 14 year old, is wearing an Ezekiel Elliott jersey right now. It’s true. Just watch the local news when they finally have him in handcuffs. So I don’t know if this is the place for my musings on the NBA, much less the goddamn Brooklyn Nets.
As a result I tend to sit on my hands more than the other writers on this site. I need to be told, “No, stop worrying. This is actually good. We aren’t tired of you unpacking your emotional baggage.” And then I need to be told that you aren’t being sarcastic, because fundamentally, I’m a thirsty ass blogger, who should probably spend more time getting ahead in his boring office career, or raising a better daughter, or doing stuff with my wife. And I know that none of this is cool, or maybe even interesting, but for as much as I talk, I’ve never felt more comfortable than when I’m laying words down while keeping my mouth shut.
Unlike all of you guys, I wasn’t a popular kid in school. When I was in the 3rd grade, my teacher had us all write down on a sheet of paper which students we wanted to associate with (I forget the exact verbiage. It probably wasn’t ‘associate’ but just roll with me on this one), which students we could associate with, and which ones we did not want to associate with. Then, for some reason they told me that out of 29 other students, only 7 were even willing to associate with me. 22 said they’d rather not. My teacher told me this, because I went to a really, really shitty public school, and for some reason they thought it would be best to single out a nine year old who was having a rough time, and really hammer home the fact that most people did not like him.
Later I went to a child therapist. Because for whatever reason I was crying all the time, and had the strange idea that nobody liked me. But I wouldn’t talk to anybody until they gave me a pencil and a few sheets of paper, and was allowed to write everything down. Because it hurt too much to say the words out loud.
I kept writing, and eventually developed enough to impress a few teachers. But whenever my teacher offered to read passages of the better stories to the rest of the class, I insisted that they not give my name, because I knew that my classmates would only appreciate what I’d created so long as they hadn’t known that I had done the writing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not what you would call a tortured artist, because I’m writing for a sports comedy blog as opposed to absolutely killing myself over the perfect manuscript. But I do have a fair amount of neurosis hardwired into the very act of writing. It’s to some degree compulsive, and if I don’t do it every few days, I start to act funny. And while I don’t need you all to stop what you’re doing and hold my hand in the comments section, I did have the feeling that nobody really reads this segment. And because I don’t always handle things in a healthy manner, once a few hours passed with radio silence I assumed the worst and lashed out. I could have asked somebody offline if I was really a drag on the site, but instead, I decided to take the initiative and burn this motherfucker down to the ground. Without telling anybody I deleted my slack account, and quickly edited my post to say goodbye in the most passive-aggressive manner that I could.
RTD, the guy who found me as a frequent commenter on another site (there is a decent chance you know that persona, though I really don’t want to carry on the character on this site, so I chose to just publish under my real name, and make a concerted effort to sound like myself instead of some dipshit longtime reader), emailed to ask me if I was really leaving. I said that I didn’t know if this site was really the best fit for me, and I think he thought that I thought the site was beneath me, which isn’t true. I don’t always know if it’s the perfect match for what I do, but deep down, I just didn’t think that you liked my stuff.
But the truth is that I like watching this maybe not very good but entertaining team. So much that when I visited my mom in upstate New York, who does not have cable, I found myself stuffing sweatpants underneath my jeans and heading down the hill in 17 degree weather (4 degrees, according to the real feel) to the only sports bar in town, so that I could be the very first person in the history of the county to request the Nets be put on one of the televisions. Here is a picture of my hometown.
Yes. That’s a Howard Johnson hotel. I know. They should have all died off decades ago. I’m told that the night before Thanksgiving is the single biggest bar night of the year. I say “I’m told” because this phenomenon was completely lost on me, as I’ve either done Thanksgiving with my aunt, or my wife’s family, and haven’t gone home in…damn, I don’t think I’ve ever gone back home for Thanksgiving. I’d graduated high school in the 90’s, so the thought that I’d run into anybody I actually knew was dismissed early on, but the bar wasn’t that full. Granted, it was 17 degrees (or 4, according to the real feel) outside, but still. People have braved bad weather with the idea of getting plowed and maybe plowing old friends before. As the final buzzer rang, I was the last paying customer to close my tab and head out the door. As I walked around the freezing town, one bar had about 40 people in it, another had maybe 8. The town’s dead, but I didn’t think it was that dead.
The Nets lost, but I do want to give it up to Allan Crabbe who had a really nice game. I ripped on him a week ago, and he’s got a lot more work to do before I come around and say he’s a nice player or anything like that, but it was good to see him get some work done.
What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes?
It’s a tribute to Bruce Lee. Nice. He gives a reason, but honestly, as the one consistent friend I had in that town would have pointed out, you don’t really have to explain why you would put Bruce Lee stuff all over your feet.
I didn’t see this game. I’m sorry. I didn’t so I won’t talk about it. I wanted to see the game, but I was driving from my mother’s house to have a second Thanksgiving with my Russian In-Laws. Russian mom cooked two ducks. One for Friday night, and one for Saturday night.
But the fact remains that I did not see this game, and I’m sad. I wanted to go through a full 82 game season and say I’d watched at least a significant part of every game as it occurred live, and ultimately came up short. It made me think about the difference in fun I’m having facing this task with how little fun I had tackling Infinite Jest. One of the biggest hurdles in reading this? Well it started early with a section anybody who attempted the book will shiver upon hearing: Wardine be cry. I’m just going to go 10 Wardines in, and you can rest assured the rest of the section is this bad.
Wardine say her momma aint treat her right. Reginald he come round to my blacktop at my building where me and Delores Epps jump double dutch and he say, Clenette, Wardine be down at my crib cry say her momma aint treat her right, and I go on with Reginald to his building where he live at, and Wardine be sit deep far back in a closet in Reginald crib, and she be cry. Reginald gone lift Wardine out the closet and me with him crying and I be rub on the wet all over Wardine face and Reginald be so careful when he take off all her shirts she got on, tell Wardine to let me see. Wardine back all beat up and cut up. Big stripes of cut all up and down Wardine back, pink stripes and around the stripes the skin like the skin on folks lips be like. Sick down in my insides to look at it. Wardine be cry.
Honestly, that’s maybe 20% of the section and it never gets better. I don’t know if I have to point this out, but this is what David Foster Wallace looked like:
Because of course it is. That’s exactly the face of a guy who thinks that black people talk like that. And fine, maybe this is all a big troll, and the jive talk is going to be revealed to have been some meta joke, and the story will hang a lampshade over the minstrel show of a passage later on, and 1,000 DFW fans will happily regurgitate the same “If you only finished the novel…” point. Well, I couldn’t, and part of the reason is this carnival of cringe that gives me douche chills from beyond the page.
If it makes you happy to read that, well, by all means, go pick up a copy of his book today. I couldn’t take it. I managed to read around another 100 pages, and I feel like I deserve some money.
What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes today?
A tribute to Langston Hughes.
I don’t know. It’s cool, but change the template from Frederick Douglass.
As for this last game against the 76ers? Man. This was the first time that the tranquility faded into nothingness, and I found myself yelling “You choking sacks of shit,” with my concerned wife and child in the other room. A brilliant effort by D’Angelo Russell, and Spencer Dinwiddie was absolutely wasted. They were damn near perfect tonight.
The refs however, were not. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but an NBA fan who doesn’t like the reffing in a game? Look, I’m sure it’s happened before, but when have you ever heard it? Well it’s true. I’m not going to look for highlights, but take my word for it, a guy who realizes that you are going to inherently think it’s sour grapes for somebody covering the team that lost to complain about the reffing, and that I am a person who does his best to limit his displeasure at what he perceives to be a shit show effort. Because that was an absolute shit show, and I hate that those Process humpers got the better of our team.
What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes tonight?
It’s a crummy commercial.
Who paid you, Spencer? Oh hell, I’m not even mad after the night you had. I am mad at whoever paid the refs.
The Brooklyn Nets are now 8-13 and in ninth place* in the Eastern Conference.
*Wait…really? Ninth place? I’ll take it.