By Sam Rubenstein

After what I wrote Friday about the Mets and the subsequent turnaround, you’d think I would be in a mood to praise the champion-like resilience. Don’t worry this is going to come back to basketball in a minute. I do not feel like praising the Mets, cause it is their own fault for putting themselves in the position where they had to go down to Atlanta and play pennant race baseball. The Braves are so pathetic they are beneath my contempt these days, but that’s Lang’s problem not mine. All I know is that on Friday, it was panic time not just for myself but for many Mets fans. Did the presence of negative energy launched at the collective psyche of a team force them into playing like the real Mets out of fear? We’ll never know. But if we are going to base future decisions on facts and outcomes, then it must be noted that doomsday negativity lead to glowingly positive results.

I used to think the best way to support your team is to defend them in arguments, give them a moral pat on the back as it were, but now I know better. So the Mets swept the Braves in Atlanta. Big deal. They ain’t done nothing! So Pedro’s back and they kept winning in Cincy. Whatever. That was yesterday. Yesterday is for losers. Willie, you’re on thin ice buddy. But as of now you’re still skating.

It’s not even reverse psychology, and the problematic thing is that I can’t control the gift. Hatred is a powerful weapon. Caring for your sports team and being positive about it is like raising a sheltered child. You just have to throw him to the fire and hope life toughens him/her up. I read the Carlos Zambrano quotes. If I were a Cubs fan, I’d be ready to drink his blood.

Carlos: “I don’t understand why the fans were booing at me.”
The AP Writer: “Zambrano has a 9.56 ERA in three starts since the Cubs gave him a $91.5 million, five-year contract extension through 2012”

Yeah that’ll do it. But much like the Mets are simply expected to go out and win the NL East, Carlos should be expected to pitch like an ace when he’s on the mound, particularly after getting the greatest show of support there is. Which now leads me into the relevant case of a group of people that should be expected to win at all times.

Team USA in the FIBA did what they were supposed to do. Some things in life are just expected of you, and you shouldn’t need praise if you do a good job, but can look forward to blame if you mess up. For example, with slamonline comment moderation, you can’t do anything to make it better than it should be, but you sure can easily mess it up. It is the prototypical “thankless task” unless I say thank you. In more day to day real life stuff that more of you will be able to relate to, I do the dishes, take out the garbage, take on assorted hammer and screwdriver projects etc. but that doesn’t mean I deserve any recognition. It’s just something you’ve got to do. I never should have NOT done the dishes or been too lazy to take out the garbage.

Team USA should never have put itself in the position that anyone would be surprised that they could run through a tournament field unquestioned and unchallenged. The world superpower is back. Say hello to the bad guy! The athletes of the NBA are back on top where they belong. All this talk during the NBA Finals about the Spurs being the “world champion” means something again. For now…

Adding to that, I have well-placed sources that tell me the new Kanye album is really good. I say, it better be! That’s what we should expect, in the same way we should expect Team USA to dominate its enemies, er, competition. Kanye’s job is to make great albums, so it would be more shocking if it was bad than if it was good. The music industry is a thing of the past either way, but hey better this than more ringtone muziks. Sort of on the topic, over the weekend there was a big Rick Rubin piece in the NYTimes magazine. I’m not going to lie and say I read the whole thing. I was Timesless at the beach. But Rubin is my dude. The original king of Hip Hop and the first Jew of Hip Hop/Metal/Chili Pepper/Johnny Cash/country/Neil Diamond and every other type of music. A highly recommended read.

Thanks to Russ and Shannon Booher for working over the weekend. I think it’s actually a felony to work on Labor Day, but thanks!

We have a very special debut post from someone coming later today. Who could it be? You’ll know when you see it.

Oh! Almost forgot, last night my girlfriend had some people over to watch the Justin Timberlake from MSG concert on HBO. One of her friends brought a cake. This cake. Frightening.