Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stuff Off Of My Mind And - Unfortunately - Onto Yours

I have exactly eleven minutes to type up something while my macaroni is cooking and the sauce is re-heating. So, random thoughts!


I hate it when the term "B.C.E." is used when referring to the modern age. I’m a "B.C." guy - "Before Christ". It was good enough for how many hundreds of years? Now the politically correct types are using "B.C.E." - "Before Common Era".

I understand your use of that term if you’re not a Christian, OK? If you’re Jewish or a Hindu or otherwise have no belief system that includes Jesus Christ, no problem. It's most certainly not my call to tell you how to refer to the passing of years. What really boils my onions, however, is when Christian clergy use "B.C.E" instead of "B.C." What is it, exactly, that you believe in?

I was a lector at St. Bernard’s catholic church in Newton, MA, for about four years. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a lector is a person who does Bible readings during mass. Now, during the time when I was a lector, each year I’d receive a new book detailing the readings for the coming church year. The book would have some background information concerning the readings - in case you never actually read the Bible, I guess – and one year the notes made reference to a time in the past and the author of the notes used the date "400 B.C.E."

I wrote to the Archbishop of Chicago, whose imprimatur was on the inside frontispiece, explaining to him my position as a participant in the celebration of mass at my church and asking him if he might explain to me why a church-published document would include a term specifically made up to placate people who don’t believe that Jesus Christ existed, let alone was a relative of God.

I never got an answer. That was the beginning of the end for me, insofar as the Catholic Church was concerned. Not enough to get me to indignantly quit right then and there, but it was the first of many straws that finally added up to a broken back for this camel.

What brought this to mind for me again, enough to make me want to write about it, is that I was listening to a religious discussion show on the radio this past Sunday morning. The participants were a Protestant Minister, a Jewish Rabbi, and a Catholic Priest. The Minister gave an ancient date and used "B.C.E." when saying it. I felt like reaching into the radio and... well, saying what I felt like doing wouldn’t be very Christian of me, so I’ll just swallow it.

(Later on, after she and the priest had had a discussion concerning Mary, Jesus’s mother, she apparently felt bad about monopolizing the time with a strictly Christian topic and so she tried to include the Rabbi in the discussion by asking him what Jews thought about The Virgin Mary. Well, now at least I knew why a Protestant Minister was using a term such as "B.C.E." It was because she was a dolt.

The Rabbi, bless him, was extremely diplomatic, but I could tell by the initial silence that he was as dumbfounded by this question as I was. He haltingly explained, as nicely as possible, that Mary really doesn’t enter into the minds of most Jews, generally speaking. The Priest tried to help by saying something to the effect of such a thing not being on the radar of most Jewish people and the Rabbi gratefully grabbed onto this lifeline being offered. The Minister said something profound. I think it was, "Oh, I see."

What in the Hell could she possibly have expected this poor fellow to answer? It boggles the mind. She may as well have asked him if he wanted a bite of her ham sandwich and would he like to wash it down with a big glass of clam juice.)


My macaroni is done, so I’m going to eat. There’s more than one thing bothering me, though, so I’ll be back.


OK, I’m back.

Allen Iverson has demanded to be traded. There is talk of the Celtics acquiring him.

No. Please, No.

First off, I don’t ever want anyone on my team who has demanded to be traded from his current team. Who knows how long it will be before he becomes as disgruntled in your town and demands to be traded again?

Second, there is no way Iverson can work effectively on a team that includes both Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak. There just are not enough basketballs to go around for a team like that. Iverson will take at least 20 shots and given the chance, he’ll take 45 or 50.

(I’m not saying that Iverson is a totally selfish player. Despite the number of shots he puts up, I truly believe he isn’t just looking for his own numbers. He’s a warrior and I appreciate his hustle and willingness to bust his chops. However, you can’t have three guys like that on a team and expect anything but chaos.)

(You could offer Szczerbiak or Pierce in the trade, of course, but the Sixers have shown no interest in Szczerbiak and you’d be an absolute moron to offer Pierce.)

Third, the Celtics do not need a guard, even one of Iverson’s experience and talent. They have two potentially fine guards now and maybe a third.

Rajon Rondo is something special. He’ll prove that soon to the basketball world at large, once he starts getting more playing time. He is a superb passer and well above average defensively. Delonte West is perhaps the best defensive player on the team and all he needs is a continuing defined role instead of being shuffled from point to shooting guard and back to the point again. He is tremendous under pressure, the best foul shooter on the team and a three-point threat.

Sebastian Telfair may or may not be as good a player as he’s been touted. For whatever reason, he’s been ordained permanent starting point guard. I’d much rather see Rondo there, but Telfair definitely has skills; he’s not a bum. And Tony Allen is a good defensive player, one I’m willing to look at further to see if he can play up to the potential he’s shown over the 3+ seasons he’s been here.

In any case, we don’t need a guard.

Fourth, I don’t want to give up the players we’d need to give up to get Iverson. Al Jefferson? He’s finally having the type of games that I’ve been predicting for the past two years. There isn’t anybody in the league I’d trade Jefferson for at this point. Gerald Green? Rondo? West? Kendrick Perkins? Ryan Gomes? Pierce??? I don’t want to lose any of those guys. I still believe the Celtics have as much talent – albeit much of it raw – as any team in the NBA.

Getting Iverson would be a short-term fix, probably guaranteeing a playoff spot for a few years, but also fairly much guaranteeing no championships during that same time span.

We don’t need Iverson. What we need is patience.


Now, what else is currently making me angry?

I guess there’s that Iraq thing, what with people being maimed, mutilated, blown to bits and dying. World Hunger is a shame. All the talk about global warming comes to mind. AIDS is pretty bad, huh?

No. Petulant point guards and petty linguistics. That’s what really steams me.

Oy. Tomorrow, with what would have to be - by default - more better stuff.


Anonymous said...

Good morning, and even when you think you're "off," it's great reading. My thoughts are now, for maybe one last day, on the California Boras(s) negotiations. He of the ever growing shady dishonest public opinion. Public self-immolation, maybe? Does he have a clue? Psss...only he knows. I guess we shall see, Sul. And thanks for your words. And the pasta. And this is Peter N, who had trouble leaving a comment except under anonymous......

Peter N said...

Oh, it works now....I had to sign in to my Google acc't to get on.

Anonymous said...

Hey Suldog - Now I know what BCE stands for, thanks.