Monday, June 06, 2005

Mr. Domestic - until 8 p.m. tonight

Day 2 in Charleston, and things are domestic. Sis is trying her first day back at work, leaving Mom and I to clean and cook in her shiny new condo. Hey, we're just trying to help. We broke in Sis's new vacuum cleaner, baked cranberry bran muffins (for the newly health nut Mama Cass), and have a pot roast going in Sis's new Crock-Pot. I just need an apron to make the scene complete. All we need now is for Sis to come home, yell "Honey, I'm home," set her hat and coat on the rack, and we're in Pleasantville. Except she doesn't have a hat rack. And with the temperature 88 degrees here in Charleston, I doubt she's wearing a coat.

In an attempt to regain some masculinity, I'll write about tonight's Pistons-Heat game, which is a loser-goes-home Game 7. Game 7s have led to some of the more exciting moments in professional sports, and hopefully, tonight is no exception. Of course, if Detroit loses, I'll think it was an awful game, regardless of how exciting it was. But I don't think that's going to happen. Throughout the last two playoff rounds, the Pistons have taken some mental breaks, choosing to plead for respect from opponents and referees, rather than seizing it. But there won't be any respect if they lose tonight, and I think the Pistons know that. Their focus should be sharp, and their effort should be strong. If not, then they don't deserve to win the game.

As Perry Farrell writes in today's Detroit Free Press, history is not on Detroit's side. Each time the Pistons have played a Game 7 in an opponent's home arena - and tonight's game is in Miami - they've lost. But those past teams weren't championship teams, like this one is. When these Pistons have had to win a game, they've done it. And if they want the respect they've been crying for, they'll win tonight.

If Miami's best player, Dwyane Wade (Correct spelling this time, Suz?), doesn't play, it should be a lock-cinch for the Pistons. (And Pistons detractors will point to Wade's injury as the reason Detroit won.) But I'm sure he'll play. He probably won't be able to give his full effort because of his strained rib cage muscle, but he'll play. Players define their greatness in moments like these. New York's Willis Reed did it on a sprained ankle in 1970. So did Detroit's Isiah Thomas in 1988. And Michael Jordan fought through the flu in 1997. The others end up forever labeled (albeit unfairly) as pansies, like Chicago's Scottie Pippen, who succumbed to a migraine headache in 1990 and turned in a horrible performance. So there you go, Dwyane: Are you Jordan or Pippen? We'll find out tonight.