Archive | October, 2015

My NBA Predictions, Because Who Doesn’t Love Predictions?

26 Oct

Eastern Conference

  1. Cavs
  2. Bulls
  3. Hawks
  4. Heat
  5. Wizards
  6. Bucks
  7. Raptors
  8. Pacers

Conference Finals: Cavs over Heat

Western Conference

  1. Thunder
  2. Warriors
  3. Clippers
  4. Spurs
  5. Rockets
  6. Grizzlies
  7. Pelicans
  8. Jazz

Conference Finals: Spurs over Warriors (Note: the top of the conference is absolutely stacked. Any of those top-five teams could make the finals)

Finals: Spurs over Cavs

MVP: Anthony Davis

ROY: Emmanuel Mudiay

DPOY: Draymond Green

Coach of the Year: Honestly, who cares?

Mel Brooks vs. The Mets

14 Oct


So, I have a problem.

Tomorrow, Thursday, is Game 5 of the Mets-Dodgers series. The winner will move on to face the Cubbies. Players on the losing team will be forced to clean out their lockers, after which they may cry a bit before realizing that they’re mostly rich and mostly really good looking (I said “mostly”) and that their lives are still awesome. But all that’s neither here nor there.

Back to my problem. Tomorrow, Thursday night, I have tickets to “Mel Brooks — Back in the Saddles Again,” which will feature a live screening of Blazing Saddles followed by a Q+A with Mr. Brooks himself. The film starts at 7:30.

First pitch for Game 5 is at 8:06. Hence, my problem.

On the one hand: this is effing Game 5! deGrom-Greinke. Do or die! The life-long Mets fan in me is screaming that I’m crazy for even considering skipping the game. After all, it’s not like we’re the Yankees or Cardinals. Playoff trips don’t come around very often when your team is ran by a nincompoop who saw nothing fishy about handing over all his cash to a dude guaranteeing a 15 percent return every year. And while having a stable of flame-throwing phenoms like deGrom and Matt Harvey and Thor and Matz does seem to be a recipe for prolonged success, if there’s anything we’ve learned about baseball over the past few years it’s that there’s nothing more fickle than a powerful young arm.

And anyway, I absolutely love this group of Mets. I love Granderson and the way he’s completely overhauled his approach at the plate. I love Cespedes and the violence he brings to everything he does on the field. I love David Wright, The Captain, and how he’s embraced his role as team elder statesman while also showing an exuberance usually seen in nine-year-olds in little league. I love everything the rotund Bartolo Colon does and how he redefines the word “athlete” every time he steps on the field. I love the emotions this team makes me feel — the euphoria following a Cespedes bomb, the anger following yet another dirty play from an old nemesis.

Watching this team — the one put together in late July, not that triple-A junk that was being thrown out their beforehand — has been a blast, and I don’t want it to end. But all baseball seasons do — some just last a little later than others. This Mets season is almost over and I want to soak in as much of it as I can before it fades away.

But, if we’re talking about ticking clocks, well, chances are Mel Brooks doesn’t have much time left either. When you get to 89 you’re pretty much on borrowed time. Even if Brooks does make it into his late 90s, the chances that he remains lucid enough to take part in public Q+As are slim.

This is my dilemma. I love the Mets, but I also love Mel Brooks more. Both were introduced to me by my father at a young age.  Space Balls and Blazing Saddles were shown at multiple birthday parties of mine, and I’ve seen both movies dozens of times. 2,000 Year Old Man was the first comedy album I ever listened to. Brooks’ humor killed me a kid and I think I enjoy it even more now. That’s his magic. You can think you know one of his films by heart, then re-watch as an adult and suddenly discover a new joke that previously you didn’t understand.


I remember stumbling upon this scene a few years ago and cracking up — at the joke itself, and also at the fact that it had gone over my head every time I watched Space Balls as a kid.

And now I can go watch a Mel Brooks movie WITH Mel Brook, and listen to him be interviewed after?! This is, likely, an opportunity I will never have again.

And I have no clue what to do.

I could go to the screening, DVR some of the game, and be home by about 10. That would likely be around the seventh inning. I’d get to catch the end, but I’d miss so much of the good stuff — those feelings that flow through you as you watch your team in a win-or-go-home playoff game, which, by the way, as Jets, Knicks and Mets fan, is something I don’t get to feel very often.

I could skip Brooks, just watch the game — but if the game is ugly, or the Mets win, or if the Mets are blown out, I will hate myself for choosing baseball over a national treasure.

I have less than a day to decide. Anyone got any thoughts?