Game 18


Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Game 18: Wells Fargo Center
Nets 97, Sixers 90 OT

PHILADELPHIA — For one reason or another, people like to invite Ian MacKaye to sporting events. The so-called iconoclast/punk hero must give off the vibe that he would not like checking out a ballgame or something, as if so-called iconoclasts/punk heroes don't have time to kick back and relax.

So it comes as a surprise to some folks when MacKaye reveals that he often takes up offers to go to games. For instance, back in 2000 when the Lakers faced the Pacers in the NBA Finals, a friend flew MacKaye to Indianapolis where he sat near Larry Bird, Phil Jackson and Jack Nicholson.

There's more, of course, like the standing offer from his uncle-in-law to see the Phillies the next time they make it to the World Series. Or the fascination with former Red Sox and Expos lefty pitcher Bill Lee, who attended a premier of a documentary a friend made about The Space Man in San Francisco and put on a show of sorts sitting in the audience as well as on the screen.

Better yet, MacKaye remembered going to RFK Stadium to see his hometown Washington Senators before they moved to Texas after the 1971 season. Like everyone else, MacKaye was excited to see slugger Frank Howard, who was known for blasting rockets into the upper deck for Ted Williams's Senators.

“I remember it being a big deal at the time,” MacKaye said about the trip to RFK.

So what's the point? The guy gets out a bit, big deal? Lots of people go to a lot of games. Who cares if some punk rock dude gets invited to places?

Truth be told, I just wanted to write about a phone chat with Ian MacKaye.

Yeah, those are good questions. But it was during that conversation with MacKaye that the topic of the athlete and his role in society came up. My contention was that a lot of athletes did not realize that they were part of a show—that they were, in essence, entertainers. The way I saw it, pro athletes were competing against Hollywood and television for the entertainment dollar. The thing is, I said, most athletes didn’t sign up to be entertainers. They just wanted to play ball.

Which brings us to Kris Humphries, the power forward for the New Jersey Nets…

When he was in high school, Humphries was an All-American, which helped him get a scholarship to the University of Minnesota where he spent one year. In 2004, Humphries was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the No. 14 overall pick. Since entering the NBA, Humphries has played for four different teams and earned nearly $17 million in salary. At age 26, Humphries is just coming into his prime as a ballplayer and his 19 rebounds against the Sixers on Wednesday night was a season-high.

So it would seem that Humphries has everything going for him. He has money and a successful career in which he is finally coming into his own.

Now all he needs is to meet that someone special to settle down with…

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