In 2004, my wife and I took the best and longest vacation of our lives. We went to Europe for 18 days. 12 of those days were spent in Italy with another couple. AND THEIR 4 YEAR OLD SON. Yes, I know, what would possess anybody to travel with a 4 year old kid? Well, we were skeptical going in. I'm skeptical now.
Last year Hipuks put up a FanPost called "The Illusion Crushing Thread" in which a lot of PtR members put up pictures of themselves. Well, the esteemed Matthew Powell's picture was taken in a little Italian hill fortress town called San Gimignano. Aka, San Jimmy. In that 2004 trip, we spent 6 nights in San Jimmy and it was there that this happened.
We were a good week into the vacation and we had started to get irritable. After a day of exploring Tuscany, we had decided to hang out in our two bedroom apartment and drink some wine. The command from on top was for the 4-year old to "go entertain himself" because it was "adult time". We were staying in this cool little place that had two bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a living room. We were in the living room and the kid was in the dining room using his imagination. That night, his imagination had him being a chef.
He had grabbed some pans out of the kitchen and put them on a little table. He would move them around and make sounds like "Shhhhh shhhhh shhhhhhh". After a little while, we asked him what he was doing. "Cooking", he said. "Well, what are you cooking", we asked? "Yucky stew", he said. Yes, yucky stew. It is still in our everyday life to this day. Yucky stew. "Hey babe, what are you making for us tonight? Yucky stew?"
On the drive home from the game, I said to myself, "Man, that was some yucky stew". The Spurs served us up some Yucky Stew against the Mavs. Did you like it? I didn't. I'm not sure how much of it I will have to eat this year. I'm starting to get the feeling that I will get a consistent serving of yucky stew. And it makes me grumpy.
LatinD did a fantastic job in his Quick Cap. He hit on every major point I could make. We were awesome offensively through three quarters outshooting the Mavs 57.6% to 41.8%. Yet, we were only up 10 thanks to a fairly lousy call by "Ref you suck" Zach Zarba and a tip in of a missed free throw. Then the fourth quarter happened.
In the fourth, my notes having us getting 3 stops on 22 possessions. Yes, 3 stops on 22 possessions. Yes, 3 stops....I'm just stunned. There were only 3 times that the Mavs brought the ball up the court that they didn't score. On top of that, they were 5 of 5 on 3-pointers. That my friends is a big steaming bowl of Yucky Stew.
How do you explain it? To paraphrase RJ, when a team scores 42, you are making a lot of mistakes and they are doing a lot of things right.
Props to the Mavs for gutting one out. As for me, I'm tired of us getting "out gutted and gritted" by the good teams. That's not what I'm used to seeing. I'll know we are a contender when we start winning those games.
More from that night in Italy. Yucky Stew is only the second most frequent thing that came out of that night. As much as I like to make light of going on a trip with a 4-year old, he was spectacular. Going into the trip, the wife and I thought the number one problem would be the kid. Number two would be the wife. Number three would be the husband. I've known the husband since I was 9. As it turned out, the kid was the best. The wife was mostly not an issue. The husband was a minor irritant. Not bad mind you, but the kid was great.
So, we are sitting in this apartment in Tuscany having adult time. The fact that it was adult time was made abundantly clear to the kid with a "go to the other room and do your thing and we don't want to hear you talking to us at all" type of command. About 15 minutes into adult time, the dad asked the kid what he is doing. The kid doesn't respond. The dad asks again. The kid says, "Is Chris talking to me?" I spit up my wine. I'm not really the best guy to have around kids when they are showing some spunk and disrespect because I love it. This was classic. To this day, the wife and I still say that to each other. Not "are you talking to me"? But, "Is Chris talking to me?"
Now you have two good little bits of sass to add to your repertoire. Yucky Stew and Are You Talking To Me.
A lot can change in a short 6 years. 6 years ago the Spurs held their opponents to 40.9% from the field for the season and held them to 84.3 points per game. Yeah, really. Those are real numbers.
Right now, I'm sitting in that kid's bed writing this post. He's also had change as many kids do when their parents hit a crossroads. Like with the Spurs, though, it's not that change is bad. It's what you make of the change. I bet the kid will be fine. He's got a good team around him. The Spurs? I'm not so sure, but I am still cautiously optimistic. But they need to know that there is only so much Yucky Stew I can eat.