Nothing Special, Really

Monday, May 14, 2007

Interlude, Part 2

Can't wait to read about the end of our fascinating road trip? Well, you're gonna have to. Today, I'm taking a break to talk about some other things.

First, tonight is the most important game in the history of the Suns franchise. Bigger than any game during the '93 Playoffs. Bigger than any game against the Celtics in 1976. Bigger than any game against Dallas last year, or San Antonio the year before.

If we lose this game, then the series is basically over. And once the series is over, it's doubtful that you're going to see Nash, Amare, and Shawn on the same team ever again. And once that happens, the odds of us winning a championship in the Steve Nash era are less likely.

Can we win this game? Absolutely. Unlike previous years, the Spurs are not dominating us. Two years ago, we gave up the first two games at home. Not only have we already won one game, we've had a good chance to win all three. But in order to win this game, we have to do three things:

1. Get San Antonio out of our heads. We will not win this game if we continue to let them mindfuck us like they have been. Yes, Bowen is a dirty player, and he's officially added to my list of "Celebrities I Would Punch", which includes Bill Walton, Paul Schaffer, Joan & Melissa Rivers, and G.E. Smith (former of the Saturday Night Live Band). But the moment we started whining about it, we gave them the advantage. We let it be known how frustrating their style of play was, and you know what's going to happen from that? They're going to continue to find ways to frustrate us physically because they know it affects our game. We just have to shut up and play.

2. Ignore Marion on offense. Not that we run that many plays for Shawn, but he shouldn't even be concerned with touching the ball on the offensive end unless it's a rebound. If he doesn't score, I couldn't be happier. He needs to expend all of his energy on the defensive end and shut Tony Parker down. Parker is the key to the Spurs like Nash is to us. Keep Parker out of the paint (which is, admittedly, a tough job) and the game will be easier for us.

3. Box out. If Amare doesn't have 20 rebounds this game, it better be because only 19 shots were missed.

I've been a Suns fan since the 6th grade. My first game was during the 89-90 season, against the Atlanta Hawks. I hardly knew anything about basketball at the time; the only players I knew were Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Abdul-Jabbar, and when I actually tried to play basketball, I shot the ball like I was throwing a baseball from the outfield. But being there in person, watching the Suns play, it completely changed my life. No joke; that first game would probably be on the list of Top 5 Most Impactful Events in my life. My life revolved around basketball for at least the next 6 years, and it has been a big part ever since.

I was in the crowd for Game 6 against the Bulls in the '93 Finals, and I don't remember a single thing from the game except for Paxson's three. I was 14 years old, and at that point, I had never had a more hollow feeling than that car ride home that night. I just stared out of the window, thinking to myself "Why the fuck did Ainge leave his man?" I wanted to cry so bad, but I couldn't even muster up enough emotion to do that. I wasn't angry, I wasn't sad, I was just so...lifeless. Generations of Suns fans have already passed on without seeing their team win a championship, and I started wondering then if I'd ever get my chance.

Tonight will either mark the end of our best chance since then, or it will mark another step towards that final prize. Either way, I assure you that I will be there, at home, living in the moment. I will curse Ginobili's name every time he steps on the court, I will find new ways to imagine harm to Bruce Bowen, I will continually wonder what Eva Longoria finds attractive in Tony Parker, and I will marvel at how well Tim Duncan plays basketball for being a brontosaurus. But most of all, I will be living and dying by every bounce of the ball, every rebound, every shot, every foul. Because, unless we win, I may never get this chance again.

Still reading? Great! Because I've got more stories to tell.

All of you know by now that I'm an unique individual, in many different ways. But did you know how unique I am? How about 1 in every 200,000 unique?

I think most of you know this by now, but for those that don't, I was born without a left nipple. I have a mark where the nipple should be, but I don't have any protruding nipple, or even an areola. I was ashamed of this when I was younger, because as a smart, nerdy, fat kid, the last thing you want is to give anyone something else to make fun of you for. But I've grown to appreciate it, as have most of my friends as well. Because, really, only having one nipple is pretty damn cool. It's a fascinating story, it's a marvel to behold (if you can look past the hairy chest and the belly), and it's a great way to pick up chicks:

"Well, I've shown you mine, now you gotta show me yours."
"You ever been with a guy with one nipple before?"

Who WOULDN'T want to be with a guy with one nipple?

Anyways, despite being this way all my life, I've never known what it's called or even why it happened (I usually just say I lost in in 'Nam). But, after many fruitless attempts at Google-ing the answer (searching for "one nipple" found me anything but the answer), I finally know what it is called:


The condition is usually found in those who have Poland's Syndrome, a birth defect that causes assymetry of the body, such as missing pectoral muscles on one side, or a hand that is smaller than the other. Luckily, I don't have any other symptoms of this, just Athelia. Although another little known fact is that I was born with one leg shorter than the other. Funny story:

When I was in elementary school, my P.E. teacher had a conference with my parents because she was concerned about something. She noticed that, when we were doing the drill where the class walks in a circle and does jumping exercises, that I wasn't jumping straight up, I was jumping out at an angle. Turns out, my left leg was about an inch or so shorter than the other. I had to walk around with lifts in my left shoe until it finally caught up with my right leg.

So the moral of this story is that I'm basically a freak of nature. And, considering the odds, I'm one of maybe three people in Seattle that only have one nipple, and probably the only one who's missing a left one (it's usually the right nipple that's missing).

Next time someone asks me "What, you think you're special or something?", I'll just lift up my shirt and say "Yes. Yes I am."

As if life couldn't get any worse, it does seem that our road trip vacation will come at a heftier price than expected. Turns out, I now have a cracked radiator, according to Firestone. Of course, they also wanted to charge me $340 for a part that only costs $120, so I will be seeking a second opinion. But suffice it to say that this is a huge setback for me. Luckily, I can get around this city without driving, but I'm expecting to pay at least $500 to get this fixed. Right now, I have $0 of that.

Seeing my one nipple may start costing you some money now. $5 a pop is fair, right?

I'll be back tomorrow to begin the end of our vacation recaps.


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