As I have evolved into the Gary Payton of sports blogging I've notice that my audience is starting to follow suit. Some friends, fans, and followers keep it civil and friendly with their opposing thoughts and comments while others get indignant and personal. Some people are perfectly fine with taking an L from me while others would rather stab their own tongue with a rusty screw driver than lose to Cleavie Wonder. I certainly enjoy all the levels of interaction and expression, but the level that really gets my juices going is the all or nothing zone. That zone where the loser may want to leave town and change their name for a few weeks until everything blows over. That zone where the loser is scared to pick up the phone or get on the computer. That zone where the loser turns on his favorite players just because of the abuse they have to put up with. I've been on both sides of the ledger, but after LeBron's 37 point performance last night I'm on the winning side of the NBA finals battle.
Everyone knows I've said Miami would win the championship since the beginning of the year. I wasn't going out on a limb or anything, just thinking rationally and using logic. If D Wade and LeBron are playing their best basketball I didn't think they could lose a 7 game series. To my surprise not everyone shared my opinion. As the season wore on more and more detractors revealed themselves. By the time the NBA finals rolled around there was a solid group of people that thought the San Antonio Spurs could do the unthinkable. One of the most vocal was long time Tim Duncan fan Aaron Braganza.
Me and Aaron go way back and I knew he would be an easy target. He would let his love of Timmy cloud his judgement causing his mouth to write checks Timmy couldn't cash. After San Antonio won game one Aaron started wearing his heart on his sleeve thinking the Spurs could shake up the world and with every win thereafter he was gaining a false sense of security.
On the other hand I was cooler than a Polar Bear's toe nails. I found it a little odd the Heat were making things more difficult than they needed to be and turning Danny Green into a household name/multi millionaire, but the overall outcome was never in question. Even during game 6 I never broke a sweat. The Ray Allen jumper from the corner was exactly what he was brought in to do. Just another footnote on his impressive resume.
The icing on the cake though was game 7. It looked like the stars had aligned perfectly for Aaron. Timmy was in a position to tie the game and possibly add to his legacy, but the basketball goods wouldn't allow him to upset the natural order of things. It was meant to be that LeBron win back to back championships and Aaron would be heart broken.
When the Spurs conceded victory I knew I was in Aaron's head. Instead of raking him over the coals I said nothing, but I knew he could imagine the trash talking without hearing a sound. He'd picture me in a bar somewhere with an evil smirk and a sinister laugh making fun of him and his Spurs talking enough trash to fill a dumpster. He wanted to rub my smug arrogance in my face, but unfortunately for Aaron I have dietary restrictions that don't allow me to eat crow and humble pie gives me a stomach ache. I got the best of him and he should never question my wisdom again.
This tale is what sports is all about. Pick a team, draw your line in the sand, and let the chips fall where they may. Don't feel sorry for Aaron. I sent him some flowers and had some of his co-workers hook him up with a bowl of chowder. I hear that's a good remedy for nursing emotional hangovers. Besides we'll be back on the same team in a few weeks once training camp opens. The 12th man state of mind is important for getting the Seahawks to the Super Bowl and we all need to be on the same page. We'll let bygones be bygones. Aaron, if you're out there can I hear you say I was right and you were wrong one time bro? It will make the transition easier I promise.