In Week One post-Te’o (a story that just refuses to die and only gets weirder), it was hard to remember that sports actually still happen. And big games too.
After the Falcons went up 17-0 on the 49ers, I actually stopped watching the game. I had stuff to do and I figured the game was over.
And then I started getting texts as the Niners slowly started coming back and then in the 4th quarter finally overtook the Falcons and helped solidify Atlanta as one of the most cursed sports cities anywhere.
And the worst part was for some reason I really like the 49ers, probably in part because of the fake autograph Jerry Rice sent me as a kid when I wrote to him.
But this time the hero was again Colin Kaepernick, capping off what (so far) has been one of the craziest years in sports for any athlete. I honestly had no idea who Kaepernick was before the season started and the whole storyline about the Niners was Alex Smith had ‘turned the corner’ and ‘started to live up to his potential’ and ‘has hilariously small hands.’
But it turned out Alex Smith was still pretty much Alex Smith and they had an incredible quarterback just sitting on the sidelines in Kaepernick who combines the speed of Michael Vick with the arm of Drew Brees with the hand-size of a real NFL player. And now he’s leading the team to the Super Bowl (by the way, two brothers are coaching each team in the Super Bowl. Crazy, right? I hope everyone only talks about that for the next couple weeks!)
But Kaepernick is kind of like the real-life version of Rudy if Rudy were actually really good (so, basically the Tom Brady story). And despite his awful tattoos, he’s the most compelling story heading into the Super Bowl (non-murderer division).
I assumed the Lakers were going to win the championship this year, and I was sort of okay with it. I assumed Dwight Howard would be a big force for the Lakers, especially paired with Pau Gasol down low and Steve Nash running the pick and roll.
Now the Lakers, on the second coach of the season, are starting Earl Clark over Gasol, Howard is struggling, Kobe is showing his age/hatred for Dwight, and Mike D’Antoni refuses to change his ways despite having arguably the most talent to work with in the NBA.
I actually wanted Kobe to win another title, especially after he decided to start his fascinating Twitter account, although I didn’t want anything to happen to make Dwight Howard happy (I’m not sure if winning a title would make him more or less happy than a sale at GameStop though). But anything good that this team was capable of has been methodically destroyed. I don’t even know where to start.
Dwight isn’t the same Dwight. D’Antoni’s system doesn’t work for Pau Gasol, one of the best big men in the game, so they’ve decided to bench him. Steve Nash might have had Sampson powers and now isn’t very good. And after all sorts of rumors, it looks like Kobe and Dwight are actually going to fight each other.
While seeing the Lakers completely crumble does bring its own sort of joy, this team has evolved into the biggest group of whiney rich people outside of Congress.
But not all is lost for the Lakers. They’re still a game up on the Detroit Pistons.
Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan
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