Feb 24, 2000... John Raimondo

Calvinball is a game Calvin and Hobbes like to play. There is only one catch to this game. This game is sort of a combination of football, baseball, basketball, hockey, etc. Calvinball has a couple rules. One rule is that the game can never be played the same way twice. Another rule is that you make up the rules as you go along. Here is a quote from Bill Watterson, speaking in the Tenth Anniversary Book.

"People have asked how you play Calvinball.  It's pretty simple:
you make up the rules as you go" -page 129.

Do any other NIBL owners feel the NBA follows the rules of Calvinball? The main difference I notice is that Calvin and Hobbes actually seem to give a damn when they play Calvinball unlike JR Rider, Damon Stoudamire, Derrick Coleman, and any other overpaid puke I've failed to mention (no offense to the owners of these players, Cap City included). I think part of the problem is that the refs seem about as familiar with the rules as Calvin and Hobbes are.

    The NIBL amazes me in two respects. First, I am more interested in reading the boxscores than I am in watching a game. So many teams just refuse to run any kind of offense beyond:

  • A: Run down and shoot a three
  • B: I got the ball in the post and even though I'm triple teamed I'm going to shoot anyway

I don't think I'm the only NIBL owner who feels this way (right Myles Schoonover?). I mean if I want this kind of (un)organized entertainment I'll go watch Bill Krieger post up Anthony Parker at Edwards Health and Fitness Center. Is this what millions of dollars and incredible amounts of talent has brought the NBA to?

This brings me to point number two, the NIBL owners care more than the NBA owners. Nothing can prepare one for the amount of blood, sweat and tears one will witness at a meeting of two+ NIBL owners. If I may quote a truly unstoppable force this sums up a NIBL owner meeting:

Full contact why I live and breathe

Side stepping all the human debris

Head strong I know that I'll prevail

Face down in my arena you will fail

Head to head eye to eye

Human pile of proven pride

Ripping flesh spitting teeth

Sacrifice for victory

Base line    Goal line

Over time    Killing time


At least we give a damn, which is far more than I can say for "The NBA on TNT". Even if the players don't show up you've got a drunken West Chicago owner calling Abdur-Rahim a "pansy" at the top of his lungs and a Manila owner telling everybody they suck at a team meeting. Maybe if NBA coaches forced their players to do push ups instead of benching them (where they do nothing but sit and stare at the Luvabulls) they would get the desired response and work ethic.

But I digress...

At least this year we have a race. The first two seasons of the NIBL have been clearly dominated by Aruba and West Chicago, while this season (contrary to Dia-blow's thinking) is totally up for grabs. Just a hint Dia-blow, talk smack when you have more than a one game lead on the entire league...duh? Fifth to first place is only three games in the east or the west and with 11 games to go that's not too tough of a margin to make up. The question will truly become "who has the better playoff roster?" Can Diablo get by with Kobe and Shaq? How far will Garnett and Brandon take Manila? Cancun lost Jamison (believe it or not that's bad) and will have to rely on Malone and Vince Carter in the playoffs. Shorewood could truly cause some damage with a starting five in the playoffs.

Anybody ever heard of Chris Webber, Sam Cassell, Patrick Ewing, Christian Laettner, and Reggie Miller? What about West Chicago with only Derrick Coleman, Avery Johnson and Dale Davis? Ugh!!! Joliet has Gary Payton and Eddie Jones but not much more and Walla has Zo, Spree and Jalen Rose (does Pat Riley coach this team?). Eric and Myles look like they're in even more trouble than the rest with Big Dog on the bubble for the eighth seed. As for your humble author, "forget about it", I can't even get my 2nd round pick into my lineup let alone think about the playoffs.

No, there is no clear cut favorite in this year's NIBL. The Sopranos have no idea where to put their money and neither do I. For those of you out of the playoffs there is always next year and for those of you in the running I suggest the following Jeff Hanneman motivational symbol for your spoiled millionaire players. This is an ancient exercise that he brought back from the Orient...