I really have.
And not like you miss an ex-girlfriend, or a toe amputated because of frostbite, or even the reassuring embrace of a Liberal federal government.
I’m talking real missing.
I’ve missed Chris Bosh getting the ball and blowing by a slow-footed opposing power forward for an emphatic dunk.
I’m even okay with watching him do it this season while wearing the hair of the car thief in 1987’s seminal classic ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING.
Haven’t seen it? You should. It’s delightful.
I’ve missed Sam Mitchell standing in media scrums and treating every question like it was an attack on him personally.
“Sam, you are looking great today.”
Sam stares icily for five seconds.
“What? Are you saying I looked terrible yesterday? (Sam exhales with noticeable exasperation.) Guys, guys… The players aren’t worried about it. The coaches aren’t worried about it. We haven’t even discussed it. You know whose fault it is? The media. It’s your fault. (Beat.) Oh, and players will determine playing time.”
I’ve missed Jim Todd doing half-time chats with sideline reporters. I love how he never shows any emotion. I can just imagine him on his wedding night, speaking completely monotonically, “We got off to a slow start. If we just do the things we talked about before, we should be fine. Teamwork is the key. Oh, and would you mind dressing as Wonder Woman for me?”
I’ve missed Bryan Colangelo. Especially the natty high collars on his shirts. I’ve missed feeling like I’m being sold a new car, and appreciatively agreeing to the premium undercoating package.
I’ve missed the underrated brainy sexiness of Norma Wick.
I’ve missed the unbridled enthusiasm – and equal sexiness – of Chuck Swirsky. I’ve missed hearing Chuck go to battle to defend Toronto and Canada. The Swirsk taught Donnie Walberg a little something about “Hangin’ Tough.”
I’ve missed frequent Dougie Smith articles. I’ve even missed Stumpy a little. I’ve especially missed people referring to him as “Stumpy.”
I’ve missed ignoring Dave Feschuk articles. I’ve missed reading article headlines and knowing without doubt that he wrote them. I don’t miss the fact that his pieces are usually only tangentially related to basketball. His attempts at flowery prose, use of large words – like tangentially! – and generally condescending attitude seem like an odd fit for a sportswriter.
Dave strikes me as that novelist who can’t get published so he teaches creative writing at a community college and gives terrible grades to the students that show more promise than he could have ever mustered up. (He would totally deduct points for that run-on sentence.)
I’ve missed trying to figure out who that woman is in press row wearing cute girl glasses.
I’ve missed Eric Smith and hope that he and Jorge Garbajosa do many interviews this season where they ONLY talk about beards.
But, do you know what I’ve missed the most?
Not cheering for the team. Not the hard fought victories. Not the lessons learned along the way.
What I’ve missed the most is…
That blonde mop girl at the ACC.
In fact, I think she needs a bigger job. Perhaps co-hosting the pre and post game shows on RapsTV? The juxtaposition – Feschuk word! – of having her sitting beside Paul Johnson, with his Kim Jong-il haircut and facial hair of a fifteen year old boy, will make her look all the hotter.
And that, dear friends, is good TV.