Test comes now ... and other thoughts

As the Mariners prepare to open their three-game series with Oakland tonight, I'm approaching my optimism with a healthy dose of guardedness (is that even a word?).

Yes, they've won nine of 11 games, and, no, I don't care that it came against Kansas City, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California, United States, Earth. They showed me some things that lead me to believe that they can compete long-term in this division -- especially considering the fact that nobody in this division appears to be all that good.

But I've been sucked in so many times this year by their tantalizing potential that I'm reluctant to jump on board once again. I feel like I'm a taller, fatter, younger version of Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part III, where I try desperately to get out ... but they keep pulling me back in.

Because of that, I believe this Oakland series comes at a perfect time. I think Mariners fans are ready to get excited, ready to get behind this team. If they somehow can go into their personal house of horrors -- they are 6-13 over the past two years against the A's in Oakland -- and win two out of three against another team as hot as they are (8-2 over their past 10), I will be all on board. I will believe.

Then again, if they get smoked over the next three games, I might not care about anything until Seahawks season.

Other (not so) random thoughts ...

  • How stupid is Ben Roethlisberger? I will never begrudge a man his freedom, but for goodness sake, use your brain. Forget about the helmet thing for a second; even if he had been wearing a helmet, it wouldn't have helped his face. The bigger issue is failing to understand the economics of the risk of riding a motorcycle.

    I read somewhere that he told his coach that he's always careful. One of the reasons I've always resisted the urge to seriously pursue a motorcycle is because no matter how careful you are, you're still vulnerable to other idiot drivers on the road. Here's to betting that once the investigation is complete, they will find no fault with his driving, that he was wiped out by another incompetent driver.

    And that will just prove my point: As a professional athlete with a limited amount of time to maximize his earning potential, it's asinine to think that somebody would put that at risk for just about anything.

  • I know most Americans aren't much in the way of soccer fans, but all Americans love a winner. Heading into the World Cup, we were led to believe that our team could compete on an elite world level, that it might even be a dark horse for the title. For the sake of the future of professional soccer in the U.S., Monday's 3-0 debacle against the Czech Republic better not be all this team is capable of, or U.S. Soccer will suffer an immeasurable setback it likely won't overcome for a number of years.

    And while I'm not a real savvy soccer fan, I didn't see much Monday that makes me think they can beat Italy or Ghana to get out of group play ...

  • Speaking of teams being completely overmatched, is there anyone out there who thinks the NBA Finals will go past five games? I wouldn't be surprised to see the Heat jump up on adranaline alone and win one game at home, but I'll be mildly shocked if this series makes it back to Dallas for game six.

    The Heat just look old and slow right now, starting with their big man. Shaq can complain all he wants about touches, but the reality is he's just frustrated he can't dominate the way he used to. Doubleteams he used to split with his quickness and strength now turn into weak kick-outs or offensive fouls. And for as spectacular as Wade has been these playoffs, it's clear he's probably not ready to carry a team yet, never mind the fact that he can't guard every Dallas player.


Matt said...

Aw ... Nuss, did you put that Michael Corleone reference in there just for me? I'd like to think so. Also, Part III doesn't even compare to The Godfather and Part II.

Nuss said...

Sure. And they go in this order:

1. Part II
2. Part I
10. Part III

Matt said...

Exactly. I prefer Part II to Part I as well, though I think both are fantastic. Oh, hey, read the latest entry on my blog. I think you'll get a kick out of it.


Anonymous said...

Well, you were apparently right on about the U.S. and their abilities vs. Ghana who came into the game 0-13-1 in World Cup play. Compete on an elite level? Dark horse for the title? Ghana deserves it more than the U.S. now with their wicked-awesome 1-13-1. I'm rooting for Germany now. DOWN WITH SWEDEN!! (Oh, those arrogant Swedes.)