Tonight is Game 1 of the NBA finals. The two remaining teams are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat. Everywhere west of Hartford is in ecstasy, drowning in the hyperbole of hype. The league MVP versus the league scoring champ. This Big Three versus that Big Three. This Little Coach That Could versus that Even Littler Coach That Could. James Harden's beard versus Chris Bosh's goatee.
(Everywhere east of Hartford? Consumed with prep work for the next Boston Tea Party, where we throw the ashes of the dynasty-that-was into a pool of Kevin Garnett's sweat.)
In all the brouhaha and hoopla, a storyline has fallen by the wayside. How commentators and analysts and statisticians and people with eyes could miss this is astounding. I mean, someone somewhere took the time to write an ESPN teleprompter line stating that this is the first finals series in the history of all professional sporting events to include two teams whose names do not end with an "s." With that kind of attention to detail, you'd think someone would have seen this by now.
Actually, maybe that's the underlying irony to this whole situation. The army of press covering this finals can't see how well their favorite subjects are seeing. They can't see that this, apparently, is the NBA finals brought to you by LensCrafters. That now, to be a legit contender as a baller and a brawler, you have to dress like a hipster who's gone to law school. That it no longer matters what's on your feet, it's what's perched on your nose that counts.
Have you seriously not noticed that THIS is how Dwayne Wade and LeBron show up for post-game interviews?
Those spectacles are a spectacle to behold! It's a good thing the basket is as large as it is and that the other dudes on the court put the big and tall in Big & Tall, as otherwise it appears this tandem wouldn't even see them! They are as blind as a referee!
Lest you dismiss my observation as having caught these fellows on a flukey night when they happened to have stayed up late shopping at framesdirect.com, I give you this:
It's kind of cute, really. I like picturing these two going to the mall, maybe on a kid leash. Walking up to the Sunglass Hut and getting confused when all they see are sunglasses. Getting redirected to an Oliver Peoples or wherever it is rich people buy reading glasses. Getting psyched when they see the big, moddish black frames and convincing each other they will each look original and fashion forward in nearly-matching frames that they wear when sitting directly next to each other.
And the great news for them is that now they can see all the flashy clothes, large diamonds, and small women they wear or use as accessories. Better yet, LeBron will now actually be able to read the print of those Hunger Games books he's tearing through before tip-off. (I mean, who could have really crushed his fragile spirit during the Celtics series by telling him that books have words in them and you're not really "reading" if all you're doing is turning pages? No 45-point game comes from that kind of humiliation.)
Mogul myopia is not limited to the Florida panhandle. Au contraire, it has entered the plains states and none other than -- you guessed it -- Miami's new foe has been dealt a strong dose of the disease.
Poor little Kevin Durant and his sidekick, Russell Westbrook, have both fallen victim. They're not old enough to rent a car, but the lesson here is that degenerative eye diseases can strike even the heartiest among us.
Russell has at least taken his originality on the court into his ophthalmologist's office. Because sometimes, a man needs a set of red specs to round out his Hawaiian shirt.
And sometimes his ophthalmologist has a really great hat he's happy to lend to all of his elite athlete clients.
So to all you fans out there, come for the game, but stay for the eyewear. To all you non-fans, give these players another chance. They're trying to expand their appeal to people like you, who couldn't care less about free throws or jumpers or the LeBron swagger, but can't say no to a nice array of monocles being sported by a group of guys who didn't read in college and/or didn't go to college. Fashionistas of the world, unite! The stars of the NBA are blazing new trails for you to bedazzle with large lenses only science teachers and multi-millionaires can make cool. I mean, who knows what color scheme Russell will go with tonight!?! The man is an enigma!
Well played, NBA. WELL. PLAYED. It only took the likes of me, a blogging mother in her mid-thirties with a limited appetite for professional basketball and whining rich men, to notice the subtle efforts you were encouraging your players to take to get people to watch.
The NBA. Where the players want you to watch so badly that they hurt themselves from watching too hard and require corrective lenswear.
The NBA. Narrowly Bypassing Aneurysms (of the eye).
See you tonight, boys.