Thursday, June 01, 2006

Surfing USA

Day 1 surfing lesson in Hanalei Bay, location of the second most travelled-to wave on the planet among surfers in the know, on the island of Kauai. Kauai makes Maui look like Jersey City (I say this having never been to either Maui or Jersey City, but I know I am right). Hanalei Bay is home to 5 of the top 40 surfers in the world, and to the Hatcher for one day in May. The wave looks small, I know, but that is part of the magic of the place - it is an optical illusion that distorts all pictures and reduces the perceived wave size by a factor of 10, so what looks like a 2 foot wave is actually closer to 20 feet.

Day 2 of surfing, at Secret Beach, where the waves are about 7 feet, and the optical illusion is slightly different - the camera gets the wave height accurate, but makes pasty balding white guys from Jersey look like tan dark-haired Polynesians. Among the highlights of the trip was a conversation with a 20-something bleach blonde surfer with a vocabulary of about 25 words, who ended every sentence with either "stuff like that" or "something like that."

Example: "Yeah, I've been all over the world - California, Bali, stuff like that. Bali is great - you can get lobster for like $3 and something like that. But it's a third world country and stuff like that." If they ever do a remake of North Shore, this guy has to play the role of Turtle.

****************************************************************************** is doing an NBA playoff tournament of composite franchise teams picking the best players from each franchises history, and having people vote on the match-ups. Any given player can only be on one team. So in the East, the Celtics (Bird, Russell, Cousy, McHale, Parrish, Havlichek, Cowens, others) were the one-seed. The Bulls and Pistons were the 2 and 3 seeds, respectively, and the Sixers were the 4-seed.

The Sixers have Chamberlin, Irving, Barkely, Iverson, Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and some others as well. Despite having only 2 championship teams in the franchise history (1967 and 1983), those two teams were arguably 2 of the most dominant teams ever. The Sixers went 12-1 in the playoffs in 1983 (best winning percentage in playoff history), in the heart of the Magic, Kareem, Bird, McHale era, sweeping the Lakers in 4 games in the finals. They finished with a 65-17 record, and would arguably have won 70 games had Malone not been injured toward the end of the season. The 1967 team was 68-13, and beat the 8 time repeating champion Celtics 4-1 in the Eastern conference playoffs. They should have been the 2-side, with a legitimate 45 percent chance to knocl off the Celtics.

The voters poll had the Bulls beating the Celts in the Eastern Conference finals. Total joke. A Bulls team that needed 7 games to dispense with horrible Knick teams year in and year out, and got spotted 10 points per game for the "Jordan Rules", beats the all-time Celtic greats. One spin-off story by a guy on imagined a Celts-Bulls match-up prior to the voters poll, with the Celts winning when Russell blocks a Jordan game-ending attempt to win the game. The better ending would have been him blocking it from six feet away, and getting called for the foul, with Jordan hitting two from the line for the win.


Blogger Professor Vic said...

Add the great Holy Cross point guard Cousy to the formidable 80s Celtics lineup of Bird and McHale, and there's no way Jordan tops that.

As a product of a fine Jesuit school, Cousy would be able to confound any Bulls (or Sixers) defense by doing something unexpected. I mean, the Jesuits were also responsible for the Spanish Inquisition and nobody ever expects that, either.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous the giant said...

Being completely unbiased, I can't see a way the Sixers lose any games, except for the fact that there's only 1 ball, and they only have really 1 pure jump shooter (Toney). Otherwise it's a highlight film.

They get pleny of defense from everyone except Iverson, rebounds galore w/ Malone, Wilt and Barkley, leadership and poise from Doc & Cheeks, etc. Just don't talk about practice....

Also, Prof Vic, AI was the product of a fine Jesuit school (Georgetown)and had the best hilte I ever saw on Jordan...

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hatcher, the flying tomato doesn't look as comfy on water, or something like that. Let me know if you have time for golf. Karla is back home for three weeks so I am ready for a short road trip with the sticks or something like that.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do I see the Superstar swimming in the background of those photos?

4:26 AM  

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