Sunday, April 06, 2008

Merde alors!

Thank you, Bruins, for another fantastic season. Despite the disheartening end. No matter how it came out, three back-to-back Final Fours is nothing to shrug off, and you've given me plenty of reason to stay up late, put up with choppy streaming video and/or expat bars, and make me bleed Blue & Gold.

You didn't really show up this Final Four, but Memphis did, and they deserved the win.

That said... FUCK!

I almost wanted to bash my pint glass against the wall and let the shards fly and do their collateral damage whenever I saw: Nothing but white (Memphis) jerseys under the basket on either end of the court. Kevin Love not getting the ball down low. Josh Shipp hesitating on his jumpers. And I know there were a lot of NBA prospects in this game, but what's with the NBA bullshit of letting Chris Douglas-Roberts walk to the basket? I'm never one to blame the refs for the outcome of a game (especially a blowout like this) but I swear, those uncalled travels made me want to violently redecorate the Great Canadian Pub.

On the positive side, Lorenzo Mata-Real played his last game in a UCLA uniform with the ferocity and pride he's known for. Russell Westbrook was UCLA's human-highlight-reel as ever. And playing in front of his parents for the first time, a solid performance was turned in by Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute.

Not only is he a prince back home in Cameroon, but he's probably my favorite Bruin of all time. In fact, I told Alannah the other night that if we were to somehow have a child in France, we'd want him/her to fit in and have a French name. So, if this hypothetical baby were to be a boy, I've already called the name Luc-Richard.

I told you: I bleed Blue & Gold. I may not be the jock type, but I take my UCLA basketball seriously.

At least I handled this year's exit from the Final Four more, umm, graciously than last year, where I drowned my sorrows so well that I blacked out, passed out on the shitter, and woke up the next day flopped over in my bedroom with my pants around my ankles. That and I cried.

This time around, I put on my coat and walked home along the shimmering water and glowing lamp posts of the Seine.

As I walked, I stuffed away the disappointment by thinking that this time... I live in fucking Paris! And in five days, I'll be joined by my beautiful bride, which is better than any basketball championship. On top of all that, I won't be forced to set foot in another goddamn expat bar 'til next season.

Not that the Great Canadian Pub is all that bad. In fact, it's a pretty good spot. Even the music was pretty good. To start. But being a Canadian bar, they somehow think the Canadian Content Law applies to them, and the sound system started pumping Nickelback and Avril Lavigne ad nauseum. Incidentally, it was at that point that UCLA started to lose its grip on the game. There were, of course, the usual suspects: Dudes who can't dress worth a shit in ratty baseball caps, bottle blondes who sport camisoles... part of the equation that made me more than happy to leave the US. But to the bar's credit, there are far fewer of them here than at the Moose. To its detriment, there were more French dudes who liked hanging out in the bathroom chatting up American dudes. Ok, there was just one, and that was one creepy French dude too many as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, it didn't get much better as I walked out, with the St. Michel area - being full of Yank-friendly joints - flooded with more of the morons I tried moving away from. I walked along the river and up over to the Rue Saint-Antoine, and as I approached my own neighborhood, I was happy to be back in the "real" Paris again. Where people are relatively well-dressed, not traveling in irritating packs, and above all not addressing each other as "bro" or "hey girl!" If I wanted that, I would've moved back to LA.

Addendum, 5:00 am: I'm really taking solace in the fact that Kansas is trouncing "inevitable" champions North Carolina and Player-of-the-Year (hah!) Tyler Downsbrough. I'm sorry, Tarhole fans - he's a great player, but homeboy looks like he's Down like syndrome.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to clarify that I did *not* agree to that baby naming plan.