Allow me to get my apologies out of the way right from the get go: yes, it’s incredibly easy to hate on Rick Reilly – he’s a pompous scribe who has been resting on his laurels for years. His past successes have led him to believe he is somehow infallible, that he’s the smartest guy in the whatever room he is in and that his s**t does not in fact stink. But no matter how much he believes it to be the contrary, the hackneyed, recycled material that he calls sports writing has been in a steady downward decline for some time now, in particular ever since he joined the ranks of ESPN for a salary which can only be considered a king’s ransom. I guess he thinks he’s earned the big payday and now it is his time to pat himself on the back for all of his tremendous accomplishments in the field of sports journalism and fade into the sunset while writing the same column over and over and over again.
But back to my apology: granted, I cannot pull off the “Fire Joe Mogan-style” as well as the originators of the method, nor can I utilize it as well as Drew does in his weekly evisceration of Peter King’s columns, and for that, I apologize. But Reilly’s most recent column, “The Heat is on”, is such an egregious affront to everything which can be considered good sports writing that I could not sit idly by and allow Reilly to figuratively take a ginormous dump on the craft. In it, Reilly has decided to finally, now that the Heat has taken a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, to reluctantly admit he was wrong about them. Never too late, I guess. Nice job waiting until the last possible moment to jump on the bandwagon, Rick.
Onward and upward we go. Or better yet, in light of the drivel which comprises Reilly’s column, onward and downward.
First off, the title. While it is possible that Reilly didn’t even come up with it, one has to suspect that he has near complete editorial control of everything that has his name on it. Further, this is exactly the kind of half-witted reference Reilly would choose to utilize. In fact, I’m shocked he hasn’t used it yet. The entire Big Three/Miami Heat saga has been going on for some time now and I bet he was chomping at the bit to use that little reference to a Glenn Frey song from 1985. It’s a shame there isn’t a player on the Heat named Axel – Reilly could have had the opportunity for a 2-for-1 Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack reference, an incredibly rare feat to accomplish.
Alright, on to the column:
It tastes like Drano in my mouth…
Breaking: Reilly has a serious drinking problem. He knows what Drano tastes like. I hope there’s a chapter about Reilly’s affinity for drinking like a homeless person in that new ESPN book.
…but I’ve got to say it: The Miami Heat are pulling off one of the greatest I Told You So’s in the history of American sports.
Greatest. I. Told. You. So. Ever. But what are they telling us? That good things could likely happen simply by adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a team which already had Dwyane Wade on the roster. Flabbergasting? They are wining with talent! Unheard of!
I hate how they conspired.
I hate how they perspired. They need more sticks of Degree in the locker room. That stuff is prescription strength and has clinical protection against wetness.
Hate how they manipulated.
Hate how they went behind the backs of the GMs and the league and their own teammates…
Haters be hating.
…to pull off something so audacious it threatens to ruin the very fabric of the league.
I couldn’t care less about the fabric of the league, but if the Heat even dream about ruining the fabric of our lives, I’ll have no choice but to stop them. I will defend anything associated with Zooey Deschanel to the death.
And yet they’re doing the single hardest thing in sports.
I was led to believe the “single hardest thing in sports” is Lawrence Taylor’s package around preteen prostitutes. Learn something new every day.
They’re living up to the hype.
Not just living up to the hype, Rick, they’re living up to the 2 Hype! Somebody get Kid ‘N Play on the phone. Here’s their chance for a big time comeback!
Remember how they preened and pranced at that preseason throw-up-on-your-back-teeth debutante party in July…
The always present Rick Reilly dental reference. Always a good standby. Also: Throw-up-on-your-back-teeth debutante party? That’s the same name given to the Miss Bulimia Pageant’s pre-event mixer.
…as if they were the second coming of the 1991 Chicago Bulls?
Which one of them was their version of Bill Cartright? My guess is Bosh.
Well, so far, aren’t they?
Remember how Dwyane Wade said he and LeBron James and Chris Bosh would wind up in the discussion of the “best threesome” to ever play?
“You know, I don’t know the exact pronunciation but I believe it’s Ménage à trois.”
Well, won’t they?
Stop asking me all these questions, dammit! You’re making my brain hurt, Reilly! Even more so than usual.
Remember when Wade said we should feel “sorry” for the other teams because they’d have to guard him and James at the same time?
Actually I don’t, so I’ll have to take his word on it.
Well, don’t we?
Again with the questions? You tell me, Rick. This is your column, not mine.
Look, I’d rather see Donald Trump on the $5 bill than see the Miami Heat win this championship.
Three superstars colluding to win a ring would be the worst thing to happen to the NBA since The Gold Club.
Untimely. That’s as big of a reach as a Kid ‘N Play reference.
But you have to admit:
I don’t have to admit anything. I’m not under oath.
They’ve been as good as they said they were going to be.
Are you telling me they are who they thought they were?
Hubris 1, Humility 0.
Ooh. A rare shutout by Hubris. Humility is going to have to step up the offense if it wants to compete with Hubris. Hubris gives 110% on the defensive end, you know.
From the moment James took what seemed like 11 cheese-filled hours…
What in the hell does that even mean? Are cheese hours longer than regular hours? I’m no cheeseologist, but if you ask me, if there is one cheese that makes time go by quickly, it’s definitely Muenster.
…to say, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” the mocking began from Celtic Nation to Laker Land and everywhere in between.
Not in Timberwolves Town. The mayor here is too busy here assembling a terrible roster and being angry at kids with genetic nerve disorders to pay attention to Heat Hamlet (I bet Reilly is pissed he didn’t come up with that moniker).
Remember Orlando Magic president Otis Smith saying, “I thought he was more of a competitor”?
No. Seriously, Rick: are you having problems with your memory? Forgetting things are we? If not, why do you keep insisting on asking us if we remember stuff the same way you do. Sounds like early onset dementia to me.
Well, James is 10-3 in these playoffs. Is that competitive enough for you?
I guess so. Is that competitive enough for you, Rick? Tell me. Don’t hold back.
Remember how the critics chirped that the only way the Heat can win is if there were three balls?
I once saw a bull at a county fair with three balls. It’s name? Rick Reilly. The owner must have been a fan.
That NBA superstars might be able to share groupies, but not limelight?
I hope they’re wearing condoms.
Well James, Wade and Bosh have led the team in scoring five, five and three times, respectively, in the playoffs so far. Is that sharing enough for you?
I’m not sure. Maybe we should watch this episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood together and have a roundtable discussion about it. We could call it: Homecoming with Rick Reilly and we could attempt to raise Fred Rogers from the dead and then chain Zombie Mr. Rogers to the castle in the Neighborhood of Make Believe. Once we know he’s safely secured and won’t be able to eat people’s brains, Reilly could sit down with him and lob softball questions at the Undead Mr. Rogers. Ah, who am I kidding? That’s never going to work. The Neighborhood of Make Believe isn’t even real.
Dude. Start taking Ginkgo biloba supplements or something.
Remember the five-game losing streak when everybody outside the 305 area code wrung their hands with glee and kept saying, “See? See? Greed kills!”?
Once again, the Heat fans residing in the area which has the 786 area code are treated like they don’t exist. Thanks for opening up old wounds, Rick. Ya jerk.
Well, it doesn’t.
Well, it almost does. Gordon Gecko just had a terrible bout with cancer. He also went to prison for a long time and didn’t get to watch his daughter from An Education grow up into the beautiful woman she is today.
Remember when writers wailed that Erik Spoelstra, the Heat head coach who looks like he’s in his first year of divinity school…
Huh? Funny, he doesn’t look like a pedophile.
…was too much of a milquetoast…
Dude, it’s spelled m-i-l-k.
…for the Threegos and should be replaced?
My favorite breakfast: Threegos with warm maple syrup. Have you ever tried Fourgos? Way too many waffles, man.
Well, Spoelstra weathered it with patience and guts.
Also: sticktoitiveness. Don’t forget about that.
You think James was under the gun? Can you imagine the vise Spoelstra’s noggin was in?
With Pat Riley and his six rings two rows behind him? But he hung in, stuck with his “Trust each other” mantra and now you wonder if they named the wrong guy Coach of the Year.
I know, Pat Riley totally deserved it. Spoelstra is simply Riley’s marionette. I bet Telly Savalas could help us out with any issues Marionette Spoelstra started getting a little snippy.
Remember the James jabbing?
Hey Rick, remember yesterday, walking hand in hand? I swear to God, if he pulls one more “Remember” line, I’m going to have no choice but to leave my office and write love letters in the sand.
Remember “Witless,” the beer brewed to mock LeBron and his Nike “Witness” campaign?
(heads to the beach)
Remember when people were saying he failed more in crunch time than soggy corn flakes?
When does a bowl of cereal ever face crunch time? Well, maybe if the Cap’n is on board, but he’s pretty unreliable and his product always tears up the roof of my mouth.
When James had to apologize to his teammates for “failing them late in games” and promised, “I won’t continue to do that”?
Love means never having to say your sorry. I’m surprised LeBron doesn’t know that.
Well, he delivered. Game 5 in the Celtics series: scored the last 10 points. Game 2 versus Chicago: nine of the Heat’s last 12. Game 3 versus Chicago: two daggers late.
But was he wearing two cloaks? And was Dabney Coleman somehow involved? Lord knows he needs the work.
Remember the Bosh bashing? Remember pundits saying the former Toronto Raptors superstar would simmer and then boil over at suddenly being a third wheel? Two and a Half Men? The Third Heatle? Remember when he said he needed to start getting the rock more often and where and when he liked it?
Remember, remember the 5th of November. The Heat lost to the Hornets. That’s it.
Well, Wade and James started giving it to him and now George Harrison has two 30-point games in these playoffs alone.
Horrible comparison. Harrison was just as gifted of a songwriter as Lennon and McCartney. Also, George Harrison didn’t look like an ostrich.
So, yes, it goes down my throat like tumbleweed…
Drano, tumbleweeds. Reilly needs a dietitian and an intervention!
…but I have to eat it…
Same thing Reilly said on his wedding night.
The Heat were right. They’ve been as good as advertised.
Damn Madison Avenue! (shakes fist)
Actually, they’ve been better.
Conditioner is better, too.
You knew Miami was getting three mega-scorers on one team who were going to wear out a lot of scoreboard operators’ thumbs.
They have to bring their thimbles from home, you see.
But what’s happened instead?
I don’t give a rip, but I have a feeling he’s going to tell me.
They’ve been winning it with great passing, teamwork and suffocating, selfless, you-cover-my-butt-while-I-cover-yours defense.
Don’t let Joakim Noah read that!
The Psychic Helpline couldn’t have predicted that.
What the Psychic Helpline can predict: nothing. Damn you, Dionne Warwick! Good times and bad times my ass!
I want to hate the Heat, want it like my next breath…
Wanting to hate the Heat is like a metaphorical waterboarding for this guy.
… but Wade is nice, James is fun, Bosh is sincere, Spoelstra is cool, Riley is brilliant, and the way they all play is so damn selfless, I can’t.
It’s like resisting the burning taste of Drano, I reckon.
I’m pissed that I can’t be pissed.
It’s like Reilly’s brain has Paruresis or something. You should see Reilly when there’s a bunch of people standing around while he’s trying to be pissed. Awkward.
And it makes me think.
First time for everything.
Remember when James said they might win seven titles before their own personal Dream Team’s days were through?
It’s never too late to ask for help. The scientific community is doing amazing things in the area of Alzheimer’s.
Well, that’s still stupid.
Finally, something Reilly wrote that I cannot find fault in. Because if there’s one thing Reilly knows, it’s stupid.
The Heat is on [ESPN Chicago]