Monday, December 8, 2008

Beware the Pests

Every year, in every sport, there is at least one team that somehow both over and underachieves during their season, annoying gamblers, prognosticators and fans of that particular sport worldwide. For example, the Rams somehow beat the Cowboys and Redskins this year, and yet have lost the rest of their games by a combined score of 363-116. The Florida State basketball finds a way to beat Duke every year, loses every other conference game and never qualifies for the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays always seem to start the season getting smoked by the Rangers and Orioles of the world, and then blow out the Red Sox in four straight in Toronto. Every goddamned year.

I’ve come up with a new classification for these teams – “Pests.” Like household pests, they generally spend most of their time in the lower levels of your sink, cabinet or the division standings, only to emerge at inopportune times, ruining your day. Despite setting traps, buying sprays and batting a primarily lefty lineup, they just keep coming back to bother you. Now, these pests don’t make a huge impact on the grand scheme of things, as they neither compromise the value of your home or make a serious challenge for the playoffs, but they still exist to annoy the mightier and stronger species of society.

The Celtics played, and luckily defeated the NBA’s Pest Du Jour last night, the Indiana Pacers. Now, a mere glance at the standings would show that the Pacers generally suck, sitting ten games behind division leader Cleveland and reeking of losses to the Charlottes and Chicagoes of the NBA world. Yet, the Pacers have been exemplary Pests this year, blowing out the Celtics last month and pulling out a win over the Lakers last week. Think about that – Boston and Los Angeles are a combined 37-4 right now, and yet two of those losses have come to a team that sits in last place in the Central division. That's a Pest if I've ever seen one.

Last night, the Pacers were in Pest Mode once again, leading the a Celtics team on an 11-game winning streak for the vast majority of the second half, with inexplicably brilliant performances from otherwise-average players like Jarrett Jack and Marquis Daniels. Now it’s one thing to have a super-talented Atlanta team take you to the brink, or have a player like Danny Granger play out of his mind and carry his team to victory, but to have useless bag of Slovenian shit Rasho Nesterovic score 14 points in 26 minutes? That dude hasn't even reached the Austrolopithecus stage of evolution yet, as seen below:

But, being the most intangiblistic (I just made that word up, but it completely fits in this case) team of any sport in recent memory, the Celtics valiantly fought off the Pacers, had an otherwise-struggling Paul Pierce sink a three to put the game into overtime, and ended up dominating the extra session to spray the metaphorical can of Raid on the Pacers' pest-dom. Ray Allen had 35, including 7-12 from three, and KG had 20 rebounds. The winning streak is now at 12. The C’s are now 86-22 in regular season games since the start of last season. Life, as reminded by those annoying-ass t-shirts (ironically invented by some dude in Needham who probably takes even more Xanax than me), is good.

Still, the lesson remains for elite teams: Beware the Pests. Or at least make them feed the ball to Jarrett Jack in crunchtime.

1 comment:

futuremrsrickankiel said...

Last time I saw a cockroach, I started crying.