Commissioner David Stern cares about the upcoming NBA season, assuming there is one.
  • Commissioner David Stern cares about the upcoming NBA season, assuming there is one.
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Thanks to Jim Behrie who writes “Football Picks Haikus” for theawl.com. Follows are two of his NFL Week 3 haikus:

  • At Cincinnati -2.5 San Francisco
  • Bengals aren’t doormats
  • The 49ers play tough
  • But I still won’t watch
  • At Cleveland -2.5 Miami
  • Bush is a dud
  • You can’t gain 100 yards
  • eating bad pizza

Folks, this is poetry a man can read in public. So, in the spirit of cultural enhancement and poetic manliness, the Box offers a long-form NFL Week 4 haiku.

  • At San Diego -8.5 Miami
  • 1st and goal
  • Chargers run up the middle
  • Charge!
  • 2nd and goal
  • Chargers run off left tackle
  • Charge!
  • 3rd and goal
  • Chargers run off right tackle
  • Charge!
  • 4th and goal
  • Chargers take a huddle
  • Timeout

In other sports news, no doubt you’ve noticed that nobody cares if there is an NBA season? Last Friday, the NBA indefinitely postponed training camps and canceled 43 preseason games. Nobody looked up from their Facebook page.

Camps were scheduled to open October 3. Did you know camps were scheduled to open on October 3? No one else did, either. The regular season is scheduled to begin on November 1. Did you know the regular season was scheduled to begin on November 1? I’ll give five to one you didn’t.

Nobody follows the NBA season until the playoffs begin in late April. That’s seven months from now. Check back with us then.

Remember how it was with the NFL lockout? A great nation brought to its knees. Constant media coverage. Bulletin: THEY’RE MEETING. Bulletin: THEY’RE NOT MEETING. Bulletin: MAYBE THEY’LL MEET. Bulletin: WE THINK THEY MET. Bulletin: WHY HAVEN’T THEY MET? Anguished letters to the editor demanding to know, WHEN WILL THIS END?

Over in NBA World, the owners and players met on September 22. No new talks are scheduled, at least publicly. Honey, while you’re up, will you grab me a beer from the fridge? Has anybody got an Aztecs score?

Nobody cares what the issues are between owners and players. Quick, name the top three issues that keep owners and players from signing off on a new collective-bargaining agreement? Okay, name the top two issues. One issue?

Under the old agreement, players were guaranteed 57 percent of revenues. Currently, the NBA has a soft salary cap; in fact, it’s a soft, yummy salary cap with enough loopholes in it that actually being under the salary cap is optional. The players have offered to take 53 percent of a bigger pie; 51 percent, if the soft salary cap is retained. Nobody cares.

The last NBA lockout ran from July 1, 1998, to January 20, 1999, lasted 204 days. The season began on February 5. Each team’s schedule was shortened by 32 games. No big deal, the playoffs proceeded as usual.

Here’s the take-away: on October 6, 1998, the NBA canceled all of its preseason games. Using this math, the league has ten days, give or take, before the 2011 preseason is dropped. NBA commissioner David Stern announced that because of the this and the that, it will take two weeks to get everything up and running after an agreement is signed. Therefore, the parties have until October 17 to agree on a deal in order to get the 2010–2011 season started on time.

So, what’s going to happen? Since the public doesn’t care, it comes down to who’s got the most juice. Owners will win because they hold the money. The median length of an NBA player’s career is one-half of one dog year. Owners are presidents for life. When it gets serious, the players will fold, no matter that the NBA is becoming the new NHL.

In the meantime, the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions are 3-0. Now, that’s interesting.

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