Sunday, April 3, 2016

Staggeringly Stunning

Words are a writer’s treasure trove, and if they are embedded in the writer’s mind and not in an online thesaurus, so much the better.

On April 1, 2016, two articles appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, and although both writers cover different beats, they both found the same word to use at the start of their stories.

In the Local section, an entertainment and media writer began his story, “In a stunning Bay Area radio-shakeup, KGO  (810 AM) laid off most of its news staff on Thursday…”

The front news section as well as Sports, featured stories on the University of San Francisco’s women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi. It did not feature the job she did getting her team into the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, but centered on her announcement that she had married her female assistant coach last August.

The newspaper’s basketball writer wrote, “Azzi made the stunning announcement” at a Torch of Liberty Award ceremony.

Was it just happenstance, or were they both using the same thesaurus? If so they could have used any one of a plethora of synonyms for stunning including jaw dropping, staggering, astounding, and incredible.

Lacob’s Incredible Timing
Joe Lacob is the majority owner of the Golden State Warriors professional basketball team, and they have had an unbelievable season. On March 31, their record of 68 wins and only seven losses had them on pace to break the Chicago Bull’s 1995-96 record of 72 wins and only ten losses.

Every day, the Mercury News has featured a variety of stories on their record-breaking pace. They have also covered their thirty-six game, unbeaten streak on their home court this season — Oakland’s Oracle Arena.

In a March 30, 2016 article in The New York Time, Lacob modestly stated, “We’re going to be a handful for the rest of the N.B.A. to deal with for a long time.”

The 60-year-old Lacob has possibly enjoyed his notoriety more than his estimated net worth of $325 million. If he were just an average millionaire, he wouldn’t have had an opportunity to look a bit out of place in his own home court with Prince sitting next to him at courtside, during a March game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It’s About TIME
There has been a Sports Illustrated jinx regarding sports teams and personalities. When they are featured in an issue of SI because of their outstanding performance, they usually flounder immediately thereafter. TIME is a sister publication of Sports Illustrated, and in their most recent issue, TIME ran a full-page story comparing the Bull’s record with the Warriors. This was shortly before their April 1st defeat at home by the Boston Celtics, breaking the home-game winning streak. That wasn’t such a long time since Lacob’s astute prediction in The New York Times.

Let the Punishment
Fit the Crime
Was Lacob’s braggadocio attitude the cause of the Warriors 109-106 loss on April 1, 2016, or was it the TIME magazine story? Perhaps it was neither. Lacob is planning to take his Warriors out of Oakland where they have had more than 150 consecutive sellouts, with Oracle filled with capacity crowds of 19,596 loyal fans. The streak started on December 18, 2012, and could possibly end when Lacob’s Warriors move across the Bay to San Francisco to the yet-to-be-built, 18,000 seat, $1 billion Chase Center.

They were originally slated to start their Chase tenure in 2018, but that has been postponed by litigation until the 2019 season. It is estimated that the naming rights bought by JP Morgan Chase, might exceed $200 million.

Lacob may no longer have Prince by his side then, for Chase Place will primarily be filled with young, white, millionaires who may not know the difference between a slam-dunk from a hook shot. They won’t even care, as they sip their Mocha Caffe Lattes, text their friends, and anxiously wait for the game to end.

All of These Situations Are Quite Simple to Explain, Just Say the Word “Stun” Backwards