By Shawn Muller-
(CBS) Last night just didn’t feel right.
I don’t know why, but it just didn’t.
The weather was about as perfect as one could ever ask for as the calendar flipped to November. Couldn’t really complain about my lunch, and dinner tasted just fine. My kids were as chipper as ever, and even my wife seemed to like me (OK, maybe that is a bit of a stretch). With everything seemingly in place here in the city of Chicago, why was I feeling a little empty inside? Why did I feel this void? Why did I sense that something was wrong?
Then it hit me…
I was supposed to be watching the defending Central Division Champion Chicago Bulls take on the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks on opening night of the 2011-12 NBA season.
That explains the void I was feeling.
Instead of getting excited to watch the defending league MVP Derrick Rose and his Bulls comrades begin their march towards redemption, I was stuck moping around my apartment while my wife watched re-runs of Sex and the City and whatever “breaking news” in the ever-important Kris Humphries Kim Kardashian divorce “saga” was becoming public knowledge.
Thanks for that, NBPA and league owners!
Don’t you see what you are doing to your fans? This was supposed to be one of the biggest nights of the NBA season. After last season, many felt the NBA was “back,” and last night was supposed to reaffirm said resurgence.
But instead of watching Derrick and Dirk go head-to-head down in Dallas, the only action in NBA arenas across the country last night (and for the foreseeable future) were tumbleweeds slowly making their way from one end of the court to the other. No fast breaks. No full-court press. No annoying stadium music or pointless cheerleaders.
It stinks in every way, and what makes it even worse, is it appears that — for the time — no end to the work stoppage is in sight.
I thought I would be OK with the initial cancellation of the first 20 games before the season was supposed to begin. The full season of 82 games is long (and many would argue a lot of players “mail-it-in” during the early portion of the schedule), but now that reality hit, and no games were played on a night that the season was supposed to officially be upon us, I realized that I wasn’t OK with it at all.
The Bulls struggled for the better part of a decade to become championship contenders before last season. It was finally exciting to be a Bulls fan again, but now we don’t get to enjoy seeing a rocking United Center for at least another month. That stings!
It is basketball season, people!
I am tired of talking about the Cubs and White Sox. Let’s talk hoops.
Yes, the Bears are still fighting for a playoff spot, and yes, the Blackhawks are playing some great hockey early in the season — both of which I am very happy about. But there will continue to be a void in the Chicago sports landscape as long as the Bulls are sitting at home when they should be running the floor.
It’s like our Chicago sports circle is not complete, and I am not OK with it one bit.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.