As one who bleeds Celtic green, on Thursday night I tuned into ESPN’s extravaganza coverage of “The Decision” to get a read on how the NBA balance of power might now shift. Having heard that the plan was for LeBron to make his decision known in the first few minutes, I wondered what ESPN would do with the remaining 57. I was parked in front of my set at the appointed time to find out.
If you joined me in suffering through the entire hour, you endured a weird ritual of ego worship incorporating influences reflecting a medley of contemporary TV shows including Survivor, MTV’s Sweet 16, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (I even detected a whiff of South Park.)
After a half hour went by, I resisted the urge to call in and say, “So, I take it that they must have plugged that runaway oil gusher in the Gulf? Wow! How did I miss that?”
Not only do I not blame LeBron for making his choice, I went to bed Thursday night grateful for the fact that the general impression I make to the world is not frozen in time on the things I did when I was 25. (OMG, is it? In the interest of full disclosure, that scene would probably reflect Car 54 Where Are You? meets Mork and Mindy.) It’s just that I would loved to have seen him quietly walk out of his house, approach a solitary microphone, utter his decision, turn around, walk back into the house. (The Greenwich Boys & Girls Club?….What’s up with that?)
So, I’m hoping that ESPN’s debacle represents a societal nadir that might signal a shift back to Old School. To get the ball rolling, here are 10 New Rules:
- The guy who scores the touchdown politely hands the ball back to the referee.
- NBA shoe styles are reduced to four: Converse Chuck Taylor high (black or white) and Converse Chuck Taylor low (black or white).
- If LeBron insists upon throwing that powder up into the air just before tip-off, he has to clean up every bit of it…before tip-off.
- Cease the ridiculous pre-game NBA introductions. (New Rule: the house lights must stay on throughout.)
- Rather than have handheld bazookas shoot t-shirts into the stands (everywhere) or have that trampolining, slam-dunking leprechaun at half-time (T. D. Banknorth Garden), just lower the ticket prices.
- Speaking of The T. D. Banknorth Garden, immediately change the name back to The Boston Garden. (I’ll be willing to chair The Commission on Arena & Stadium Naming. While all requests will be considered case-by-case, the general rule of thumb is: gum, presidents and geographical identifications are OK; banking conglomerates and/or corporations engaged in activities that the typical American could neither comprehend nor explain are not.
- No more tailored baseball uniform pants. Go back to flannels with 9-10 inches of sock showing.
- No more interviews of coy coaches between quarters of NBA games. Fans must wait until the post-game press conference.
- No more hoops shooting sleeves. (I love you Ray-Ray, but…No.)
- All NFL coaches except for Bill Belichick required to go back to Tom Landry-style dress.
BONUS: The phrase “I’m making this decision in order to spend more time with my family” is hereby prohibited. Time for something new.
And one more thing: Don’t just ban those vuvuzela horns. Round them all up and send them to all US senators and members of congress. Let’s put some life into those State of the Union Addresses!
Onward, Malcolm Gauld