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The Playoff Eclipse Chronicles
May 22, 2012 3:20 PM   Subscribe

The Playoff Eclipse Chronicles: Bill Simmons writes about the weekend at Staples
posted by Cloud King (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
In all my time living here, that remains the only time I ever topped 100 miles an hour on the 10.

You must not be trying very hard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


My little brother, who used to run the parking operation at the Forum (you could walk out of his office, take 20 steps and be at center court next to Dancing Barry), when the Lakers were there, and who now is a cog in the machine at LA Live, had to be there for all of this.

While he celebrates the end of the season for the Clips and Lakers, he is still trying to catch up on the sleep he did not get over the weekend.
posted by Danf at 3:53 PM on May 22, 2012


I don't think he likes cyclists.
posted by crawl at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2012


In all my time living here, that remains the only time I ever topped 100 miles an hour on the 10.

You must not be trying very hard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:35 PM on May 22 [1 favorite +] [!]


The I-10 in Southern California is notorious for allowing only 15 mph traffic at all times of the day and year, with few exceptions. It is the most direct route between the Inland Empire/North Orange County and Los Angeles. West of Covina, you may has well hop on your Schwinn or call your loved ones and tell them you love them.
posted by basicchannel at 4:00 PM on May 22, 2012


The I-10 in Southern California is notorious for allowing only 15 mph traffic at all times of the day and year, with few exceptions.

Dude, I know all about L.A. traffic; I lived there for 30-something years. I also know on those occasions when there is no traffic, people in L.A. seem to want to "average out" their monthly speeds. For every hour you're stopped on the freeway, you go 100 mph when you can, so you arrive somewhere in the middle at 50.

In L.A., I topped 80 mph every single day. After 10 years in Seattle, I haven't hit that speed once.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


CPB: I (also an LA-to-Seattle transplant) agree with your observations but not your analysis. You're right that LA drivers go really fast when the freeway is clear, but I think you're ascribing a more complex motivation to them than necessary. LA drivers drive fast when the freeway is open because LA drivers simply know what a car is for and how to drive one. Seattle drivers never really get moving even when the freeway is clear because Seattle drivers are afraid of speed and freedom.

Do you really think, as your analysis implies, that LA drivers would slow down to some reasonable, moderate speed (you mention 50 mph) if, through some miracle, they spent a month without encountering traffic? I think you'll agree that the very notion is absurd. Furthermore, the fact that it would even occur to you, a former LA driver, to think of 50 mph as a desirable average speed means—and I'm sorry you're finding out like this—that you've been infected by the Seattle driving mindset.

That's the slave mind, man! Don't do that to yourself.
posted by The Tensor at 4:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


I commute on the 10 between the westside and central LA, and I can hit 80+ mph on a weekday at 8-9pm... some days. Other days it's 5 mph. Varies, but its certainly not always slow, even at not-crazy-odd-hours. Maybe it's worse east of downtown, I rarely go there.

Like all proper LA discussions, I see this has quickly fallen into being about traffic and/or route planning. After that Californians sketch on SNL I've been paying more attention and really just wasn't aware how common those were. I suppose we don't have much weather to talk about.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's worse east of downtown

Hahahahahahahah.

Yes. There is a lot of 10 freeway east of downtown. A lot.
posted by basicchannel at 4:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry guys I didn't mean to turn this into an LA Traffic derail. I'll stop now.
posted by basicchannel at 4:47 PM on May 22, 2012


Isn't it a little awkward for Amgen to sponsor a bike race, what with EPO now a major illicit performance-enhancing drug?
posted by mr_roboto at 4:51 PM on May 22, 2012


I suppose we don't have much weather to talk about.

Except the mountain lion in downtown Santa Monica this morning.
posted by birdherder at 4:53 PM on May 22, 2012


Sorry guys I didn't mean to turn this into an LA Traffic derail. I'll stop now.

Nonsense. All Southern Californians know that the freeways are fickle gods (this is why their names are prepended with "The") and thus we try to get in our penance whenever possible in the hopes of obtaining their favor.
posted by LionIndex at 4:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I scanned that article about as fast as those cyclists went passed him.

Thoroughly meh, like much of his writing since he started Grantland.
posted by oddman at 4:53 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm going to be yet another stereotypical Californian, and continue the traffic discussion, because that SNL Californians sketch is absolutely true to life: while I wouldn't say LA drivers consciously try to average out their monthly driving speed, I must admit that when my commute included driving between the valley and West LA via the 405 (hint: this commute is terrible), I became an insane speed demon whenever I had a clear stretch of freeway. I regularly went over 90 on those blissfully uncrowded stretches of the 15 on weekend nights, and basically floored it whenever I could everywhere else. After a hefty speeding ticket for such activities, and now that my commute is about 15 minutes on the 10 west of the 405, I never go over 80.

Getting back to TFA, I was totally anticipating the "playoff eclipse" being a total traffic and event-planning shitshow, and was really pleasantly surprised to see that wasn't the case. I mean, it was still a shitshow in terms of how LA's basketball teams actually performed, but at least the city didn't descend into chaos!
posted by yasaman at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2012


After 10 years in Seattle, I haven't hit that speed once.

To be fair, in Seattle, it's polite to wait and give the right of way to any other drivers at the intersection. And it's also polite to wait around for other drivers who might be coming to the same intersection and need to get through. And if you're on a highway, it's polite to merge into a busy lane even if a car is coming along, thus keeping everyone to a nice, slow, polite speed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


While he celebrates the end of the season for the Clips and Lakers, he is still trying to catch up on the sleep he did not get over the weekend.

Yeah but the Kings are still going, and for some of us, that's what matters. He'll get at least two more games to cog it up next week when the arena hosts games three and four of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Then he can rest.

----------------------------
*For most of the rest of us, that doesn't much matter at all. Here's a helpful infographic to help those of you who don't care recognize the difference between the LA Kings and the Sacramento Kings, Bailey and Slamsun, and between Brad Doty and Drew Doughty.

**Simmons on his daughter's appreciation of the last two minutes of the Kings' sweep of the Blues:
She really loved the last two minutes, when Phoenix couldn't pull its goalie because the Kings were pressuring them so relentlessly. As it happened, the long-suffering Kings fans were standing, hollering, waving white towels and practically shattering the glass with their approval. It was all kinds of awesome. Every time I get worried about burning out on sports after four solid decades of giving a crap about total strangers, I find myself caught up in a moment like the last two minutes of that Kings game — when you're embedded in the heart of 20,000 people basically losing their shit — and you think to yourself, Oh, yeah, that's why I do this for a living. What a game.
Yes, it was awesome.
posted by notyou at 4:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't watch basketball except the playoffs. I really don't care about the sport in general, and generally just hope for competitive games in the playoffs (and for LeBron James to loose!).

But Bill Simmons. He makes me care. His writing about the games is often times better than the game itself.

My main reason for loving Simmons is he comes off as a fan first and foremost. He's a huge Celtics fan, and interweaving some random Celtics story about him and his dad watching games is not uncommon and rather enjoyable. Just the way he writes, it's clear he cares about the sport and enjoys the game. That joy comes through on his writing. It's one of the reasons he's one of the few sports writers I actually like: Most the time, a sports column sounds like a homework assignment, just trying to meet that 1000 word quota by publishing times. But Simmons says fuck that. He's makes those 1000 words into a random tangent, turns that sunbitch sideways, and shove the joy of sports right up otherwise indifferent sport's fans candy asses.
posted by jmd82 at 5:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah that^

Simmons is a fantastic writer, even when he's wrong. He's the Roger Ebert of sports.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I worked in the same office with Bill Simmons for a while, years back. Yes - he really is that much of a sports fan.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2012


You can't name drop like that without telling us a good story. You know you got at least one!
posted by oddman at 6:30 PM on May 22, 2012


I don't really, though. We worked in the same office, and even within sight of each other's desks for awhile, but our jobs had nothing to do with each other, so we never really interacted much. But there were usually games on the TV in the background, and the office could definitely get energetic if a particular match was entertaining. I liked his writing and he seemed like a decent enough guy, from casual observation. And like I said - he was a genuine sports fan. But he wouldn't know me from Adam.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:06 PM on May 22, 2012


I know you from Adam tho. Youre the one with all your ribs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry about the traffic derail. Simmons is actually one of my favorite writers, and definitely my favorite sportswriter.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:24 PM on May 22, 2012


Cloud King: "the weekend at Staples "

Most of the action was in electronics, where I spent several hours evaluating for the thirteenth time whether I need a Kindle Fire. There was some extra activity in writing implements, though: the new Zebras have just come out!
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


You guys might not have noticed, but some of that article concerns the NBA playoffs:
Beyond the creative brilliance of Parker and Ginobili, Popovich's superior coaching and Duncan's undeniable rejuvenation on both ends — just three months ago, he played the Clippers on one leg, passed up the chance to post up Caron Butler in big spots and made me mutter the words, "Man, I hate seeing Duncan like this," then something shifted for him, and now, he's playing his best basketball in five years — it's the chemistry of the 2012 Spurs that leaves you breathless. I know, that's a weird thing to write. How can chemistry leave you breathless? But in person, the little things stand out — you know, teammates feeding off each other, bench guys reacting to big plays, players always making the extra pass, guys constantly talking to each other, even simple moments like Duncan gleefully congratulating Danny Green after Green stopped Chris Paul at the end of Game 4. Duncan wasn't happy that Green came through for the Spurs; he was happy for Green as a friend. Big difference.
This whole season has made me just misty-eyed with joy. I was worried for a while that if the lockout had lasted all season, their last loss to the Grizzlies last year could have been Duncan's last game. His revival has been a joy to behold, and this team is simply magnificent. The wife & I made it down to two games this year -- I got to see Kawhi Leonard sink his first basket as a pro, (a three pointer from the corner off an insane behind-the-back Ginobili inside-out pass) and I got a good look at his face as the whole arena stood up to cheer him - you could kinda tell he was thinking "Wow, I could get used to this." The arena was just electric. Watching that generational shift as the kids on this team learn & begin to take over has been really cool, too. They really are playing some amazing team ball right now. 18 wins in a row -- 29 out of the last 31 -- by an average margin of 16 points. Not saying they're going to get through the Thunder, but that's gonna be probably the best series the NBA has lucked into in the last 4 or 5 years.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Devil's Rancher, I envy your happiness. My happiness ended with the horror of Game 1, Chicago-Philadelphia, and the knowledge that Derek Rose might never be the same again.

It was supposed to be the Bulls' year. Damn it.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:29 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, the Rose thing breaks my heart. I really like the Bulls, too, and wanted SA to meet them in the Finals most of all.

The East is a mess right now. Miami can't decide whether to implode or win via heroball theatrics, the 76'rs & Celtics series seems like it'll come down to the team that was unable to lose despite trying, & The Knicks, what is this i don't even.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:19 PM on May 22, 2012


I guess it's the Raider fan in me, but I can't really enjoy a piece by a sportswriter who casually dismisses poor officiating.
posted by Drumhellz at 1:57 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a time lapse video of Staples Center changing over from basketball to hockey back to basketball this past weekend.
posted by donovan at 11:04 AM on May 23, 2012


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