by Sam Rubenstein

It’s meeeeee snitches!

Long time no internet-see. What’s up? What you been up to? Oh yeah? Sounds good. Hey is that Kobe Bryant in the main site feature spot? No way! (Okay now it’s the Top 50 countdown. Late on the trigger. See, I’m washed up.)

Lots of basketball developments while I was away doing my grad school thing, studying for an exam that required much pencil sharpening, beaching it, other assorted summertime activities. There was the Redeem Team, the exodus to Europe, the Artest trade. Clearly I do not need to talk about any of this because Ryne has been doing such a kick ass job. So I get to write about utterly non-basketball topics. I didn’t see much of the Redeem Team. Lang was practicially courtside he wrote so much about it!

I was inspired by Michael Phelps to stage a mini swimming Olympics at the beach with some family and friends. I had the gold wrapped up, I was ready to start my Usain Bolt swagger stretch, but then a Jellyfish got me, and I paused just enough to let a 22 year old girl beat me. I trained 18 hours a day for four years for that! My life is over.

Of course everyone is excited about Obama’s speech last night. It was incredible. And I almost got to see it from the luxury box at a Brooklyn Cyclones game. I was a guest of a friend of a client of Bruce Ratner’s. The same guy who  is moving the Nets and the evil incarnate of gentrification in Brooklyn. I’ll tell you what though, the man has a nice luxury box full of hot dogs and free booze. Go Nets! But the baseball game ended early so we didn’t’ have the opportunity to watch the speech from the luxury box, and I had to settle for a non VIP T.V. Amazing night for America, and I am very happy for our African-American brothers and sisters. But… there was one guy in the suite, who was accused of throwing a bottle cap down below at some paying customers (suckers). His skin was dark, the stadium security went right for him and gave a harsh warning. I know who the guilty part was though, it was a 2 year old white girl. She was out of control.

I will now share an amusing anecdote about SLAM reappearing in a social setting since I stopped coming in to the office. I do some volunteer work with the kids, and we were painting a “say no to violence and drugs” mural in Harlem. We had to go around the room saying who we are and what we do. I mentioned that I recently gave up working at SLAM to teach “kids like you” to the group. One excitable youth whose name was Prince threw me in the interrogation chamber with the blazing white light in my eyes. “Do you know Chris Paul? Can you get me free shoes? Can you get me free tickets? Will you tell Chris Paul to come to my games next year?” etc. Then this 14 year old asked a co-volunteer of mine if she would go see Dark Knight with him. She’s 25 and looks like a young Cameron Diaz. Prince is my hero. Other than that, it’s been a lot of getting yelled at by girls when they find out I used to get free sneakers and gave it up.

One thing that reminded me of you all was I was reading this fiction book and there was a chapter titled “The Watcher.” It turns out that “The Watcher” is a sweet little newborn baby, who was the product of a little bit of shall we say evil manipulation to steal the seed from the heir to throne. There were sex changing demons and horrible rituals involved. Anyways, “The Watcher” is enjoying it’s first breast feed, and then suddenly transforms into a murderous were-spider (a werewolf but a spider version of a werewolf, with telepathic powers too) and eats his mother alive, draining her body of all it’s blood. That reminded me, I should write a post for slamonline.

It’s getting to be NFL season, and the past two years a part of Slamonline was my emotional, manic-depressive relationship with the New York Football Giants. Last NFL season for us Giants fan was a once in a lifetime experience that will never be replicated. Sucks for the rest of you, but it’s awesome for us! You have no idea what it felt like. It was nice to be able to vent my frustrations and share my joy here. When I turned something in for the magazine, Ben asked if I would write an NFL preview. The season starts in 6 days. Six days!

So here’s the preview. We’re defending champions. Masters of the universe. Kind of like God, the guy that all these NBA player like Michael Redd are so infatuated with. We sit on our throne and wait for people to lick our toes and do funny little dances for us while we are fed grapes by a maiden. I’m bad about clipping my toenails, so it’s gonna be rough for some of you.

I think I understand why the NFL would schedule a 2008-09 season, it’s a big money maker, gives people stuff to watch and talk about, but eh… we all know the Giants are the all time unconquerable champions from here until the kingdom of eternity. They beat the undefeated best team ever. Nothing will ever top that. So, I guess I wouldn’t mind if the Eagles or Falcons won their championship this year. Obviously it’s hollow and anti-climactic in comparison. Good luck Lang and Khalid, may you have joy in your lives, you’ve earned it.

The Mets, I don’t even wan to talk about. They make me dizzy.

Let’s see… what else to say? Let me tell you, developing lesson plans…. Very different from these free flowing slamonline posts.  I have run into alternate versions of my SLAM family in the academic world. In the same way that I could write a column about how Shaq is like Arnold or Nate Robinson is like Bushwick Bill, I see the same things with people from school vs. people from SLAM. For example, I met SLAM Creative Director Melissa Brennan’s long lost Italian sister. This is an inside joke that means nothing to you, but trust me it was weird. There was a Khalid figure in my class, who gave a lecture on how the Western world has commercialized Halloween and turned vampires from scary to effeminate. There is a Lang figure who I sat next to at orientation, who took out his iphone during some boring speech and showed me on google maps exactly where we were sitting.

But I digress… this has been a post about nothing. Just checking in to say hello. Going away to the Hamptons (Yes… still BALLLLLLLLING even if that word hasn’t been used in two years) for Labor Day Weekend and when I come back, school starts full time and I’m in the classroom doing student teaching for real. Be afraid youth of New York City, be very afraid…