(Yeah ... whatever.)
OK, I didn't watch one second of the Lakers' Game 5 triumph over Orlando last night. Why? Well ... I'd agreed 10 days ago to watch "Twlight" with my wife on this particular Sunday (I actually thought Game 5 was scheduled for Saturday night). So yes ... I missed the defining moment of Kobe Bryant's career because I was watching a movie about teenage vampires and the women who love them (sounds like a Ricki Lake special waiting to happen).
I'm not sure I would've enjoyed watching Kobe pretend to like all his teammates for 10 minutes, or the culmination of an anti-climactic Finals that were decided as much by Orlando's poor game management and Stan van Gundy's odd player rotations as much as anything the Lakers did (for more, click here and here). But I thoroughly enjoyed giving the tweener classic the ol' "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" treatment, particularly since my wife was obviously irate with me for doing so (even though she said she wanted me to watch it with her so we could make fun of it together).
My review of "Twilight": outlandish premise, poorly acted, poorly shot and doesn't include enough unintentional comedy (yeah, I stole it from Simmons, what of it?) to make it one of those "bad movies that are perversely fun to watch." Basically, I didn't enjoy anything about it. But it's a movie for adolescent girls, so most of that I knew before I watched it (Robert Pattinson's transparent loathing of the story is an interesting twist, though).
My review of the Lakers: whatever. All champions are lucky, of course — think the Celtics win last year if Manu Ginobli's ankle doesn't go down? — but LA felt like they won without trying particularly hard, which is interesting because (aside from Kobe and Pau) they never seemed that good. But they were the best team all season, and now they're the champs. So we have to pretend we like Kobe and Kobe likes us for a little while. Hooray.
(Incidentally, the sound you heard last night was my wife squealing in delight that basketball is now officially over. Until September when training camp starts again.)
Onward, then, with notable links for the early week:
— Stealing my idea completely and totally: both a blogger and an MSM guy feel like this Auburn-Bama thing is getting too nasty. Bolton's column is notable only because Bolton rarely writes about anything other than the outdoors and NASCAR. So apparently it's gotten his attention.
— Elsewhere on the probation front, OTS examines the appeal, and whether it's feasible.
— Other offseason issues of angst: lousy scheduling. 8Box has a fantastic look at how Alabama used to schedule back in the heyday, and the Wiz dissects the issue on a more national scale. And while we're here, props to Jerry for thinking outside the box when he suggested Auburn think about scheduling Florida for a non-conference date. I still like the idea of adding an extra conference date more, but that is one way schools could take this into their own hands.
— Does Alabama, in fact, award the No. 12 jersey to a special player? Actually no, according to Tommy Deas.
Yes, No. 12 has been worn by Paul W. "Bear" Bryant at Alabama, as well as great quarterbacks Pat Trammell, Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler. In that regard, it is special.— For a completely objective look at Auburn in 2009, check out Dr. Saturday's preview. I have to agree with his assessment: they look like a team that should be nasty on defense, struggle on offense and may lose a few close ones early, and only because — as I've learned repeatedly in the last decade — when you have a new coach, everyone on the team is basically a freshman. And freshmen tend to lose their poise in tight situations (for further reference, see 2001, 2003 and 2007 in Tuscaloosa — you think I'm making this up, but I'm not).
It's also been worn by Ryan Pflugner, a kicker; Bryne Diehl, a punter; receiver David Buckner and safety Jeremy Downey (they shared it in 1993 with Diehl); Rod Flowers, a cornerback; Shon Lee, a safety; and many others -- with various levels of distinction.
— Finally, the College World Series is on this week (and next). For live updates, check out TCBB.