By Jason Keidel
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Hello from Hudson County, New Jersey. Since Monday I’ve lived in the luxurious Hotel Honda Civic. My mobile home has more amenities than my apartment — like heat and electricity — but no toilet. I duck into my dark, dank apartment, clutching a candle for nature’s ancient summoning.
In case you need a visual, Hudson County is a cocktail of physical obstructions stuffed in a blender and poured onto a carefully crafted infrastructure — half of which was already under construction.
The most alarming sight is the trees, wrenched from familiar soil, scattered across the land like fallen dominos. Some have knifed through homes almost as old as the trees themselves. Others decided to block Bloomfield Ave., Ridge Road, Broad Street or whatever your main vein to civilization is named. Cops are playing crossing guards, violently waving us through the tattered county roads like runway workers. Lines at gas stations, snaking back miles, are at epic, Jimmy Carter contours.
Harm to human life aside, this storm is a perfect precursor to the New York City NBA fortunes, where two teams — the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets — neither of whom have won a title since our moms were squatting on their hair in Sheep Meadow — square off sometime, somewhere. After flashing a middle finger at the fan, the fat cats who swore we wanted the tip-off tomorrow actually succumbed to political pressure and cancelled the Thursday premiere. For some reason, they forgot that most of us can’t ride limos to our helicopters to the game.
The corporate gluttons can cackle at WFAN’s Boomer & Carton all they want about making this game a glorified group hug in the shadow of Sandy. The truth is, they don’t give a damn about you. About 95 percent of us regular folk must climb the iron horse or bus — or both — to any ballgame. And they know this. And they “could care less,” to use the quaint, grammatically flawed maxim of our beloved land.
But the bosses in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden will pay for this, a karmic tax of equal dimensions. And so will you, for your admirable yet myopic allegiance to a team with a historic penchant for implosion. Listen to WFAN and you hear the cacophonous call of optimism, the chronic, “I feel it this time” battle cry of the Kool Aid guzzlers.
The Knicks are equal parts triage and nursing home, if not one within the other. Jason Kidd would have been the perfect tonic for an obscenely selfish team. He was a guard with the gravitas to command Carmelo Anthony — four years ago. Anthony has never led a pro team within a whiff of a title, a fact lost on the famed Melo zombies who see the basketball world through clever commercial branding instead of the standings.
They pulled Rasheed Wallace from rehab, er, retirement to tack on a few technical onto his elaborate rap sheet. Kidd arrived just in time to drive drunk into a telephone pole. Kurt Thomas was great in his prime, just in time for the Knicks to ship him. Same with Marcus Camby.
Amar’e Stoudemire is a walking, talking, aging, limping, overpaid bench player — A-Rod in shorts. Tyson Chandler is already banged up. And no one is there to truncate Anthony’s considerable scoring appetites.
And then there’s the whole LeBron thing. Anthony is the quintessential consolation prize, blessed with half LeBron’s talent, a third of his hustle and a quarter of his basketball IQ. Pen the Knicks now for 47 wins — perhaps squeaking by the first round of the playoffs — before remembering to honor the 40th anniversary of their last title, embarking on the next 40 and knowing that you’re gullible enough to gobble up mediocrity.
Kudos to my editors for translating this cell-phone-crafted gibberish into legible form. Kudos to you, the fan. Unlike your beloved home clubs, we know without you there’s no us, no WFAN, no one paid to play sports nor knuckleheads like me to cover them.
May Sandy make you stronger, if not wiser. It’s not too late to hop the Hudson, or even the East River, to claim a new hoops allegiance. The Knicks will never have the knack.
Are the Knicks just too old and too beat up? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…