Monday, March 28, 2005

The Big Sleazy

I've read Dante and the Bible but I don't pretend to know that much about hell. But I can tell you this, it simply must smell better than Bourbon Street.

I hear people talk about New Orleans like it is some sort of religious experience. I think the architecture of the old Southern homes is amazing, the food is excellent (I had Parmesan shrimp last night), but I'm sorry, I can't get over how disgusting it is.

This is my fourth trip to the Big Easy, but last night was the first time I've made it into the guts, the innards if you will, of the French Quarter. It was a full moon and boy were the wackos out. But forget about all the smut, and the drunks, and the bead flingers. What about the smell, the freakin' smell!

I mean, I'm walking down this street with a bunch of run down buildings, where people mingle through the cars in traffic, where the gutters are filled with a menagerie of liquor, body fluids and trash and everyone is peddling trinkets. Tell me that isn't how you'd describe main street in the third world nation.

Sorry, if I'm offending anyone, but I just call it how I see it. Now, I'm lucky to travel around the country for my job and I also do it as a hobby, so I've seen just about every corner of the country. And I've spent many, many days in Vegas, so I'm not prude. But nothing quite compares to the trash I saw down there.

Compatriot Bob Finnan of the News-Herald studied the sign outside one house of ill repute and informed me that, for a few bucks, you'd be permitted to wash the female of your choice. Based on what I saw around me, I guessed it would probably take a little more than Zest and a washcloth to disinfect what lay inside. Instead we waded through the unwashed back to our hotel.

Now, on to the wheezing Cavs. I just want to relate a little story from Saturday:

The Cavaliers were on the court finishing their shootaround at the American Airlines Center. They'd just finished their prep and were about to do their normal light shooting when the Mavericks walked out onto the court and literally took it from them. Several players were icing on what is the visitor's bench and new Mavs coach Avery Johnson walked over the kicked them out of the gym. Without saying a word and while putting on their warmups as they left the arena bowl, the Cavs took it. A few hours later, the Mavs kicked them off the court 31 points.

Now, it's not that big a of a deal. But just how much fight the Cavs have left in them is questionable. Think Jordan would've allowed his team to be kicked off a court? Or even another team would try it? I doubt it. Not that I'm saying this team resembles the Bulls.

They're is going to make the playoffs, if you look at the standings they can't help but make it. And they should be applauded for getting there for the first time in seven years, that is progress indeed. LeBron James has had a wonderful season and he's on his way to greatness.

But another late-season skid is preventing this team from reaching its potential for a second straight season and that isn't progress.

For more check out game stories from losses at Dallas and at Houston. Plus my Sunday Column is loaded with Cavs stuff. Also, check out Tom Reed's in-depth pieces on Brendan Malone and Ira Newble.

Take care,