El organismo de radiodifusión
Landon Donovan is one fly guy. The recently retired MLS and World Cup star has begun his MLS broadcasting career on Friday night in a match up between the Chicago Fire and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Because Donovan can’t help but impress, he made his MLS broadcasting debut on Univision. For those who don’t mindlessly scroll through the cable channels at 3:00 a.m., Univision is entirely in Spanish. Spitting some slick Spanish, Donovan seamlessly fit in with the rest of the native-speaking cast.
Even as a rookie broadcaster and speaking a second language, Donovan out-broadcasted veterans Dick Vitale and Bill Walton, who both made some eye-opening remarks last weekend. After the NCAA levied a nine-game suspension on and stripped 108 wins from Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim, Dick Vitale rushed to the coach’s defense.
The NCAA found several instances in the past decade of Boeheim’s players receiving academic favors and cash from Syracuse boosters. In a not-at-all biased fashion, Vitale unabashedly defended his friend Boeheim, who was guilty of one thing: “trust.” Yes, Vitale claimed that Boeheim merely trusted those around him too much. Conveniently, Vitale makes no mention of how the illegal incentives enticed better players to attend Syracuse, boosting Boeheim’s win total.
While announcing a basketball game between UCLA and USC, Bill Walton had some interesting insights into milking cows. Dave Pasch, the play-by-play announcer, incredulously challenged the cow-milking expertise of Walton, a San Diego native.
After mentioning his coverage of games in cow-filled Wisconsin, Walton defended himself by saying, “I have milked a cow before. And I have been milked.”
Let’s just say Pasch held a moment of silence, and it wasn’t in memoriam. However, Pasch has come to expect the unexpected from Walton, who routinely delivers on-air gems, such as rants about the War on Drugs and talking Bob Dylan for three straight minutes.
The greatest dunk in history
Congratulations! You’ve finally made it, despite all the critics and naysayers. You proved your haters, friends, parents, ex-girlfriends and snarky cat wrong. Mr. Mittens, that intolerable feline, has always hated your guts. Although you stand at only 5-foot-9, you’ve made it to the show: the Philippine Basketball Association. Sure, it’s not the NBA, but two of the letters are still the same. Sixty-six percent NBA is better than no NBA. Nonetheless, here you are at the PBA Slam Dunk Contest.
“Suck it, Mr. Mittens,” you mutter spitefully yet justifiably.
Now is the time to unleash THE dunk; yes, it is the one that is so beautiful that even you are not worthy to watch. Consequently, you don a blindfold lest you see the face of God. Starting just beyond the three-point line, you take off at a blistering pace. Your black Air Jordans compress with each step, supporting the weight of the living legend that is you.
With an effortless bend in the knees, you propel yourself upward. The Wright brothers have nothing on you, because YOU are the inventor of flight. Because of the blindfold, you’re not certain, but you think you hear the sounds of birds chirping beneath you. The wind and cheering fans simultaneously envelop your ears.
Rapidly, you uncork your arms, viciously unleashing your divine dunk. Suddenly, something is amiss. Your hand, descending to smite the rim below, finds no rim at all. Forcefully, your Air Jordans return to the hardwood court with a forceful and futile thud. Removing the blindfold, you find that you stand well outside the restricted arc, nowhere near the basket. The voracious crowd goes silent, with the exception of a few unrestrained laughs.
“Someone must have told a joke,” you delusionally tell yourself.
How did everything go so, so wrong? You burned the right candles, sacrificed the right goats, yet you failed to land THE dunk. You begin to think that Mr. Mittens was right—you’re not PBA material, you don’t belong on the same court as legendary PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo. Nonetheless, as quickly as the gloomy clouds of doubt had descended, you remember that you are Justin freakin’ Melton.
One “bad” dunk (with six inches of air) will never define your legacy. Next year, you shall return stronger than ever; you will show the plebeians. Oh, will they see how great you are!*
*Since the video of the miffed dunk was picked up by the likes of CNN, Melton revealed that the dunk was a joke. While I admire Melton’s alleged self-deprecation, this makes for a much better story if we don’t buy Melton’s claim.