Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wallace Paranoia

“It is what it is,” Adalius Thomas told New England reporters after leaving the Ravens for the Patriots a few months ago. “I don’t worry about things I can’t control. And that’s one of the things I can’t control, so I didn’t worry about it.” People are always gushing about Thomas’s versatility, and I can see why. Not only is he a fearsome pass rusher and run stopper, he can also cram two stupid clichés into one quotation: “it is what is” and “I don’t worry about things I can’t control.” He even reformatted the latter into a syllogism. If only he had speculated that at certain points in his career, he’d been guilty of “trying to do too much,” he would have pulled off the rare cliché hat trick.

But getting back to the “control” one, I hate it when sports guys use that phrase. What are they talking about? “I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” ex-Seattle Supersonic VP Lenny Wilkins told reporters after last month’s draft. It makes no sense, because things you can’t control are precisely the things you should be worried about. Thus, I have no influence over whether or not Gerald Wallace re-signs with the Bobcats, and as a result I’m really, really worried about it. In fact, I’m terrified he’s going to leave us for Phoenix or Memphis or something. If only I could have some sort of control over the situation, then maybe I wouldn't be so worried, but I don’t…

Shortly after the free agency period opened up, I watched with apprehension as GMs lined up to purchase Wallace like he was an iPhone (and what was the deal with that, anyway? Why were people lined up for 24-hours just to get a phone? I mean, I can see standing in line for days to get the new Harry Potter book or something, and even yours truly waited until midnight once in 1991 to get the release of Use Your Illusion I&II, but at least with those things you can read/listen to them right away and enjoy them. What did these people do once they finally got their iPhones, make a call? I don’t understand). Ever since open season began, I’ve watched the ticker at the bottom of ESPN Sportscenter daily with dread, looking to see if we lost Crash. I hate how that ticker goes too; you have to sit through all the endless “AL” and “NL” scores, then the “AFL” scores, then sometimes things like “TENNIS,” “NCAAW,” and “HORSE” before finally “NBA” pops up. And then there’s this horrible pause that leaves you dying in agony, just waiting for the little blurb to say something like, “CHA F Gerald Wallace Signs 4-yr. $50 MIL Contract with NYK…Bobcats expected to get Eddy Curry, former player Allan Houston in return.” This tension has got me at the end of my rope. I feel like pulling together Danzig and Bananarama and having them write a song called, "My Dirty, Black, Cruel, Cruel Summer."

So far nothing has happened yet, but the longer this contract impasse stretches out, the more I worry. At least the Observer’s Rick Bonnell thinks the chances are good that G-Dub is coming back. Then again, the Observer also had an article out today with the headline, “Dudley Dazzles Bobcats Coach,” yet if you read the whole piece, you saw that the only thing Coach Sam Vincent actually said about Jared Dudley is, "I like his energy…I'm impressed with his rebounding ability and he's getting a lot of offensive putbacks." That hardly sounds “dazzling,” so maybe the Observer is as desperate as me.

At least Matt Carroll’s aboard, but if we lose Crash and don’t do anything else, that means…oh dear lord, Adam Morrison starting at the 3? That’s like replacing The Sopranos with John From Cincinnati. For now, I’m going to keep the faith, as Billy Joel once did and George Michael implored of us all. But it’s control that I wish I had, and unfortunately I have none. Maybe I’ve been trying to do too much.

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