Category: Uncategorized

NBA Lockout: Players in control

Am I the only one who doesn’t care if the NBA season isn’t starting on time?
Probably not, but I thought I would put it out there. I don’t care that games
have been lost because quite honestly, the season is too long anyway. It takes
6 months to eliminate less than half of the teams in the league, and then
another 2 + months to decide a champion with the remaining playoff teams.
That’s another subject for another day.

This lockout is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen and blame lies
solely at the feet of the NBA and its owners. The league and its owners have
created this debacle and the players hold all the leverage because they are
truly what the league is made of. As seen what happened in Cleveland last year,
one player can truly make your franchise. The Cleveland Cavaliers went from the
top team in the league to worst in the league because of one player’s decision
to take his talents to South Beach.

The players are in control of this negotiation and they know it. That’s why
there has not been an agreement and games have been canceled. Is that a selfish
thought on the part of the players? You could say that. But this is where the
NBA is in trouble. The NBA may be the premier basketball league in the world,
which is only because of its talent, and the players know that.

Since basketball is a global sport the players are taking advantage of that
exposure and signing lucrative “part-time” player contracts with
teams overseas whose pockets are deeper and don’t have salary cap restrictions
such as the NBA. Those types of transactions just show you that the players do
not need the NBA, and in Cleveland’s case the NBA, and its owners, truly need
their players. Now the elite players are planning a ten day world tour to play
exhibition games, that may or may not happen, but it goes to show that the
players can continue without the league. Recently, Knicks forward Amare
Stoudemire said that there were talks of the players starting their own league.
When asked it about it on SportsCenter, his teammate Carmelo Anthony simply
said “Tell me where and when and I will be there”.

This type of leverage has been 25 years in the making and it all sits at the
office of the NBA. They created this monster and the chickens have come home to
roost. If there is a person to blame, and to no fault of his own, it’s Michael
Jordan. In the heyday of the NBA, the 80’s, the league was structured the same
but the marketing was completely different. On Sunday afternoon’s you would see:

  • “The Boston Celtics take on Arch Rival Philadelphia 76ers live from the
    Boston Garden”.

  • “Live from the Great Western Forum in Inglewood California it’s the Los
    Angeles Lakers vs. The Boston Celtics in game 3 of the NBA Finals”

 Although the league rode their two young superstars Larry Bird and Magic
Johnson it was a team oriented marketing strategy. On June 19, 1984 that all
changed. The Chicago Bulls with the 3rd overall pick selected Michael Jordan of
the University of North Carolina. Johnson and Bird were heading into the back
end of their careers and Michael Jordan was going to take the reign. Shoe
deals, underwear deals, and sports drink deals soon followed Jordan and the NBA
jumped on that bandwagon and once Magic and Larry were gone the promos would be

  • “Michael Jordan and the Bulls take on Shaquille O’Neal and the
    Magic”

The NBA was no longer a team game, it had been individualized.
Since then the players have cashed in on the individualization of the NBA. The
endorsements these players get are astronomical in this world wide game. The
players are promoting products in countries all over the world. Charles Barkley
was able to become a marketing icon, he never won a championship. Lebron James
is the heir apparent to Michael Jordan, no rings.

It is no longer about the rings, it’s about the dollars. If the NBA is not
willing to give in to the players, they will go get it elsewhere, and they will
get it. So if the NBA wants to end their lockout anytime soon, sign the
proposal the players give you. If it means that teams need to fold, then so be
it, it means they should have never had a franchise in the first place.

3D
Coming Right Atcha

Happy Halloween…….Kids

It is October 31st and that only means one thing. Me and my wife’s annual
dash out of the house to avoid the trick or treaters. Unfortunately, Halloween
ranks way at the bottom of the holiday list for me. It is so far down at the
bottom of the list that it has to work its way up to get to the bottom. You
would think having a child would get us in the mood. Yeah, we dress our
daughter up and take her out with family and friends, but I am sorry, I just
can’t do it. This is not a new phenomenon, I have never been a fan of it, even
as a kid. I never drove my parents crazy for the plastic costumes you used to
be able to buy at CVS. I never got creative in making my own costume and I
never really like going out asking for candy. Me! The biggest sweet tooth in the
world didn’t like asking for candy. That’s why I always prayed that no kids
ever came to my parents’ house because then the candy was mine, no effort
needed.

But it’s not the kid portion of Halloween that irks me, not in the least. It’s
actually pretty cute to see all the little kids in their costume. My daughter
will be a Garden Gnome this year. Did she ask for that costume? Yeah, right!
That is what Halloween has become for me, what asinine costume I could get my
daughter in. The adults and the costume shops have absolutely made me not like
Halloween. This is a commercialized holiday for children but adults have become
so obsessed with this holiday that it takes the fun out of it. I couldn’t tell
you the last time I actually wore a costume on Halloween. However, recently I
did dress up as one of the Ghostbuster as a joke at a rehearsal dinner. One
thing I have noticed the past couple of years while taking my daughter out on
Halloween is the most popular costume among parents is the “College
Student at a Keg Party” costume. I have to admit that I am guilty of
wearing the same costume. There must be a run on Red Solo Kups around Halloween
because they are everywhere on Halloween night. So this begs the question, do
all parents hate Halloween?

The Halloween became an appointment holiday. Some cities and towns have
trick or treating during certain hours and some have it on does other than the
31st. That’s not Halloween, that’s candy pan-handling on October 30th. The
worst part of that is that people from other towns invade other towns to cash
in on more trick or treating on off days. So now some towns have double their
public safety pleasure because parents are not satisfied with just trick or
treating on the 31st in their own neighborhood. Does your child need that much
candy? No wonder there is a child obesity issue in this country. I guess you
could justify it by using the price of the costume as a reason for Trick or
treating double dipping.

I have been lucky enough to work from home the past 5 years and I have not been
subjected to the office Halloween parties that go on. If people put as much
time in their jobs as they do planning office Halloween parties, office
efficiency would be up 3000%. I respect that, having these parties to build up
worker morale, great idea. But how does it help worker morale that people who
don’t participate are cast out as office pariahs because they don’t want to
wear a costume. Really? I respect the fact that you want to act like a child
and not do your job, you could at least respect my decision not to. It’s not
just that, adults sometimes get stressed over what they are going to wear for
Halloween. There are much more important things than to worry about than to
what costume to wear.

This brings me to costumes. I pray that there is some legislation that bans
Halloween before it is time for my daughter to get Halloween costumes on her
own. Sorry folks, I have never seen a nurse, a police officer, or a doctor
dressed as some of these costumes depict. I have seen all the Harry Potter
films and there were no girls showing cleavage in their Hogwarts uniforms.
Halloween is now the holiday that women get to dress and lose their integrity
and dignity. Sorry ladies, not to sound mean, but if you get amped up to dress
like that once a year something tells me that you would like to dress like that
all the time, you are just using Halloween to hide it. I don’t want to keep
driving at this point because my intention is not to offend anyone and I am
headed down that path. And Seriously people ,do pets need to be put in costumes?  It’s creepy enough when people do it when it isn’t Halloween.

The point is that Halloween is for the kids and somewhere down the line some
children just never grew up. Drinking establishments have cashed in on it.
Costume companies have cashed in on it and the public has eaten it up. Can we
please go back to the two hours of trick or treating on the 31st with the same
old plastic costumes and take the thought process out of it. Let’s sit back and
enjoy an evening of pleasure in our children’s faces that only rivals waking up
on Christmas morning. The innocence of the young children yelling trick or
treat at somebody’s front door and being reminded by a parent to say thank you
when they get their treat. That is what Halloween is, and that is what it will
be in my household.

Happy Halloween everyone,
3D
Coming Right Atcha

No Longer Bleed Red (Sox)

Now that the drama down at Yawkey Way seems to be over for a little while I
feel the need to explain why this team lost me long before this season.
Yesterday was the 7th Anniversary of “Reverse the Curse”. Edgar
Renteria grounding out to Keith Foulke to complete the sweep and put a cap on
one of the greatest post season in baseball history. That series however was
equivalent to the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Gold Medal game against Finland. It
wasn’t about who they played in the championship, it was about how they got
there. The Red Sox defeating the Yankees after being down 3 games to none was
like the USA beating the Soviet Union in 1980. It was the pinnacle of my fandom
for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox epic failure in September epitomized a terrible season and saw
players, coaches, owners and front office personnel not only jump off the
bandwagon but set it on fire as well. The grand expectations of the 2011 Red
Sox were over inflated and that was not fair to them. Their pitching staff was
not good and it evidently showed during the disastrous 7-20 month. Every time I
turned the game on it was already 2 or 3 to 0 in the first inning. For a
diehard Red Sox fan that is truly demoralizing. Now that it comes out that
there was extreme turmoil on Yawkey Way all season. The manager left, the
General Manager left, the owners are calling out players and the players are
calling out Front Office. One of the most beloved players in Red Sox history,
David Ortiz, says he wants to play for……wait for it….the Yankees. If
Richard Dawson were looking to host another game show he could have the 2011
Red Sox as contestants on the “Dysfunctional Family Feud”

Fortunately for me the Red Sox haven’t mattered to me for quite some time. Is
it because investing a whole 6 months on a team is too much? Maybe. Is it
because I am older and have other priorities? Maybe. I don’t know what has
transpired that I no longer “love” the Sox. I went to a couple of the
games during the last week of the season, my previous visit to the Friendly
Confines was August 2004. The Red Sox have since won two World Series between
my visits to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. They had won zero in my previous
100+ visits. Before and during the 2004 run I was “that guy”, you
know that guy, the one that Jimmy Fallon portrayed in the movie “Fever
Pitch”. I never missed a game, I would stay up late during West Coast
trips and my weekends were planned on where I would be when the Sox were
playing the Yankees.

But something happened along the way. When the current ownership bought the
team the city was in an uproar because they were pulling for the local guy
Frank McCourt to buy the team because he owned all this land down on the
waterfront and he would build a new Fenway Park that would rival all the new
ballparks that were being built. Luckily for Red Sox Nation that McCourt didn’t
become the owner because he (and his wife) have made one of the most storied
franchises in baseball a laughing stock and he may be forced to sell the team.
That wasn’t it, that’s not what drove me away from the Nation.

In 2003, the Red Sox are leading the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS and were
on the verge of certain victory. I was even making World Series plans. Then, Grady
“F’n” Little made a decision that even a Little League coach wouldn’t
have made and that game would go down with the other heartbreaking games the
Red Sox have put their fans through. I remember feeling betrayed and
disappointed the next day. I would not talk about it at work, I was that mad.
But the Red Sox came back the next year and this time won the whole thing.
Eighty six years of torture have been forgotten and Boston could now call the
Red Sox World Series Champions.

I remember getting a call from my brother shortly after they won and he said
“The Red Sox won the World Series. Now what?” That was it. That was
when my disconnection began with the Red Sox. It wasn’t the team that I loved,
it was the misery. The annual chase for something that in the end was certain
not to happen. Red Sox Nation had nothing else to complain about anymore. The
new ownership had done what they said they would do. They finally beat the
Yankees, they won the World Series and they made NESN free. The Red Sox no
longer owed me a damn thing and that feeling was mutual.

Yep, that’s it. The Red Sox and I had amicably broken up. We stayed friends,
we encouraged each other, but we were never the same again. Sure, I cheered
when they won it again 2007, but then I watched Game 4 by myself and there were
no phone calls to friends blabbering over the phone that they had won. I simply
shut off the TV and went to bed. The Red Sox had become the local baseball team
that I root, kind of like the Bruins. At this point if there were a choice
between Red Sox and a Romantic Comedy, John Cusack gets my attention.

So watching all this drama unfold this offseason is only going to make me
watch less next season. I think Terry Francona was a great manager and deserved
a little more respect going out the door than he received. He had lost control
of his team and any good coach knows that when that happens it’s time for a
change. Maybe he feels the same way I did, he no longer loved being manager of
the Red Sox. Maybe someday the Red Sox and I will make up and I can be that fan
to them and them that team to me. I doubt it, but this game, and especially
this team, has been known to do weird things to a person’s psyche.

By the way I did not mean to offend the Bruins fans, I have never been a fan of
hockey. I do appreciate the Bruins diehards allowing me to jump on the Bruins
bandwagon during their Stanley Cup run. Thank you.

3D

Coming Right Atcha

Way too early…..

Last week I received a very disturbing phone call.  It was a colleague of mine from California whom I had worked closely with for three years.  We had started a new group at our company and had made it thrive.  The team consisted of 5 individuals were separated across the country and had never crossed paths in our very large company.  We also had a dynamic boss, a boss that would go to the mat for anyone of her employees.  This was the closest group of people I had ever worked with.  We would talk almost every day helping each other out, we would only see each other once, maybe twice a year tops.  We were a close unit and they were and still are considered my “work family”.  After the death of our boss and corporate restructuring, we separated and sent in completely different areas of the company.  If we speak once every few months we are lucky.  I digress.

The reason for the call was to tell me that the daughter of one of our teammates had been killed in a car accident in Indianapolis where the driver had been drinking.  She was 18.  My heart immediately sank.  As a father I could not even imagine what my friend was going through.  No parent should ever bury their child, no matter what the circumstance is.  The call dampened my day.  I mailed a card to my friend and then I began to look up the accident in the Indianapolis newspapers.  I was curious to know the story and how bad the crash really was, in short, it was not good on all fronts.  The car was completely destroyed after hitting a tree, my friend’s daughter was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver?  The driver was pulled from the wreckage by local authorities, was well enough to take a breathalyzer test at the scene and blew a 0.18 blood alcohol content.  That is more than twice the legal limit, at 5 a.m. 

WTHR-TV in Indianapolis reported that the driver told officers at the scene that the last thing he could remember was “drinking at home watching South Park” and then woke up in his car surrounded by police and firefighters. The driver also told police he didn’t know who his passenger was.  WOW!  No other words can be expressed other than WOW!

The worst part of it was that it was the driver’s second OWUI offense.  He had been convicted of drunk driving back in 2009, he’s 21 now!  How is he able to drive a car when he was arrested for drunk driving before he was even legal to have a drink?  How is it that the drunk driving laws across the USA are such a sham that almost every time an accident like this happens, it is always not the driver’s first offense, and the driver is the one who doesn’t get a scratch on them? I know part of the responsibility has to lie at the feet of the young girl who should have used better judgment in getting into a car with someone who had obviously been drinking.  But if the justice system had done its job before it may not have been an issue. 

At what point are lawmakers going to take drunk driving serious?  The ads on TV are cute and all, but the reality of the situation is that a family is destroyed and this young man not only gets to live with this, he will almost certainly get an opportunity to do this again.  We need to stop protecting the criminals and maybe one day an innocent girl will be remembered for what she accomplishes, and most importantly her killer.

I have not spoken to my friend yet.  It is way too early and also I wouldn’t even know what to say.  I just want my friend to know that I will pray for her and her family every day and will do anything that is asked of me to help them get through this.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

R.I.P. DRB – Gone way too early

3D
Coming right atcha

Steve Jobs a Conservative? Say it ain’t so……

Since Steve Jobs Biography hit stores shelves today I want to share a story that I came across last week.  It was an article of where the former Apple CEO warned President Barack Obama that he was headed to a one term presidency.  The news of that must have sent the Obots, the Occupiers, and Appleheads into a frenzy.  Ironically enough, those three groups are mostly one in the same.  Fear not people, Steve Jobs will not need to be removed from your mantle because he had not gone over to the dark side of logic.  He was a high profile businessman that needed to shake some sense into his commander and chief.  Also, from the reports, it seems like Jobs was also trying to knock the POTUS down a peg or two.  To be quite honest, there is nothing wrong with that.  It is the right of every American citizen to not only question their elected officials but to call them out, no matter how public it gets, given the opportunity.

Jobs spurn of the president could be viewed as a stroking of his own ego, it’s quite possible, but I highly doubt it.  Jobs has always been viewed as an innovative icon with a false view of “sticking it to the man”.  What people fail to realize about Jobs was that he was “the man”.  First and foremost Jobs was a businessman.  Was he changing the world with his products? Absolutely.  His products have revolutionized the way the world uses portable electronics.  However, Jobs got very rich off all of these innovations and this is where he took the president to task.  As the head of a multi-billion dollar company he should take the president to task.

His upcoming biography written by Walter Isaacson, goes into detail Jobs meeting with President Obama in a San Francisco hotel.  How the two came to meet is a different subject I will get to.  In the meeting Jobs warned the president that he was headed towards a one term presidency because his agenda is not friendly to businesses and it was making the United States fall behind Asian companies in manufacturing due to the tough regulations and unnecessary costs of building factories in country.  Although his statements are true, the president cannot be completely held responsible, those regulations have been in place for longer than Obama has been in Washington.  However, the attacks on businesses to pay taxes, the instability of the Healthcare Reform, and President Obama’s pledge to “spread the wealth”, makes him an adversary of business.  That was what Jobs was eluding to when he came at the president.

But that’s not all that Job’s took President Obama to task on.  He told him that there was no hope for education reform while there were still teachers unions.  Jobs said that principals, or school officials should hire and fire teachers based on merit.  He also said that the school day and the school year should be extended.  Unless the education steers away from “union work rules” there was no hope to fix the education problem in the United States.  Ouch!  This would make people think that Jobs had gone conservative more than telling the president he was a one termer.  He attacked at the core of the Democratic Party by going at bigger government oversight and organized labor.

I still want to make it clear that Jobs did not jump ship.  He like many Americans was not happy with the direction that the United States is headed. The president needs to understand that he was a media darling in 2008 and he rode that to a point where he has become cocky with the way he presents himself.  He has been acting like an untouchable and Jobs put him in his place.  The meeting between Jobs and Obama almost never happened because Jobs insisted that President Obama call and personally invite him to this meeting.  When both sides did not budge, Jobs would have not gone.  The president was not that important to him.  At the urging of his wife, Jobs relented and went to the meeting.  Not before speaking out against the menu and coming with a full arsenal to shove down the president’s throat.

If Steve Jobs were still with us he would still be a liberal. So Appleheads don’t fret, the icon is still safe, you can crawl back into your Occutents in whatever city you are in and protest for something you probably don’t even understand.  But keep in mind that Steve Jobs wasn’t wrong. To understand what he said and the stance he took was to understand the type of man that Steve Jobs always was, what made him Steve Jobs.  He was a very cruel man with a bad temper, if you were involved with him.  He was known for not only berating employees but regular people he came into contact with.  He always wanted to be around people that strived for perfection, and this is what he was doing when talking to the president.  He commands perfection from the president and had no issue telling him what he thought, basically treating him like any other person that he ever came into contact with.  It didn’t help President Obama that Jobs had zero respect for authority, feeling that the rules did not apply to him, which probably led to Jobs candor with the president.

I’ve never truly understood the fascination with the Apple phenomenon but I have always found Steve Jobs to be fascinating.  He went from not worrying about money because he was dead broke to not worrying about money because he so much of it.  He did not get aid from the government.  He used a sabbatical in India and a great idea.  That great idea turned into the second most profitable company in the world.  The meeting with President Obama just adds to my fascination with Steve Jobs.
Until next time
3D
Coming Right Atcha

Is Warren Buffett Superman?

I just recently received a forward e-mail that is asking me to forward on a political e-petition that would add another amendment to the constitution. Before I get into the subject of this post I want it to be known that e-mail chains aggravate me. They make no sense, they come with an ungodly amount of forwards that makes you scroll for five minutes before you get to the actual body of the e-mail and they accomplish nothing. If they did I would have been rich in 3 days so many times over I would be the new Warren Buffett.

Speaking of Warren Buffett, this brings me to my post. In this e-mail it brought out a comment that Buffett had made during the debt ceiling crisis (which will never go away).

His quote was: “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.

That’s great Warren!!! Let’s do it!!! Everyone get on the phone to your congressman and tell them that you want to see this bill passed. I bet there will members of Congress jumping over each other to sponsor this bill. Is Buffett serious? Has he completely lost his mind? It’s Warren Buffett; it has to work, right? Wrong. Not only will this not solve the problem but nobody will pass it. If there was going to be legislation to actually hold our elected officials accountable for the inactivity’s in Washington, term limits would have been applied to the House and Senate long ago.

Term limits aside. If anyone out there can come up with the name of the congressman that will not only sponsor this bill, but actually put it to the floor, they shouldn’t be running for Congress, they should be running for President. And to disqualify members from re-election if the deficit is 3% higher than GDP, half of the clowns in Congress run unopposed, and then who gets the seat?

The problem with the debt and the economy is, was and always will be for the most part, the American people. Because the American people do not hold Congress to the same standards they would a player on their favorite baseball team. A player lets the ball roll through his legs in Game 6 of the World Series allowing the winning run to score and the fans are ready to run him out of town and sending death threats to his family. But an elected official allows the national debt to get to $15 Trillion and is asking for support because he has not been able to fix the problem in the 30+ years but we need to send him back because he has the experience. Experience? At what? This where term limits would do wonders. If we hold our Commander and Chief to accomplish goals in two 4 year terms, why does the House and Senate get to become lifetime politicians and grow roots?

I think that Warren Buffett has been a true pioneer in self-made billioniares, but I think over the past few years his opinion has not only been relied on too much in the world of public opinion but his word has been portrayed as gospel. I value the man’s financial opinion, why wouldn’t I? But since the government and particularly the current administration does not want to run the United States like a business, as it ought to be, Mr. Buffett’s comments are futile because the people that need to listen aren’t. If the people are looking for a real (and just as fictitious as Mr. Buffett’s plan) solution to solving the debt crisis, I suggest you read “Term Limits” by Vince Flynn. It is not what you think it is.

Until next time.  3D
Coming Right Atcha

Welcome to Thinking In 3D

My name is Nick D’Andrea and I live and was raised in Worcester, Massachusetts.  I have been married for 4 years to my beautiful wife Darcy.  Darcy and I have a beautiful daughter named Cecilia and in 2012 we will be expecting another member to our clan.  I truly enjoy time with my family, there isn’t a moment of the day where I wish I could just stop what I am doing and go hang out with my family.  I enjoy spending time with my friends as well, and in some cases I like hanging out with my friends more, because as we all know families sometimes suck.

I have always been known to be opinionated, sarcastic and relatively intelligent (please, no jokes).  So I have decided to start blogging.  About what you ask?  Anything.  Anything that comes in front of me that I think needs a little bit of criticism or praise.  One day I will decide to write about politics, the next day I will write about the local issues and the next I will write about sports…..you seeing my pattern? 

I dabbled in writing a few years back as a joke and was told that I have a knack for it.  I truly honestly like writing in diary format on a subject, which makes sense because I enjoy the writings of Holy Cross Grad Bill Simmons.  I couldn’t write a diary all the time because that would just drive me crazy.

The blogs name is called Thinking In 3D.  It’s kind of deep which gives you a sense of thinking at a real life level, but for those of you that really know me, you understand the title, and maybe someday I will explain here on this blog.  I will try to update the blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  It will be a tough task, so don’t be surprised if you see posts on random days or if I miss a few days.  Remember, I don’t get paid for this, I have a job, I have a family and I have extra-curricular activities.

I’m not going to say I decided to blog because I want to change the world or show the true meaning of life.  I started to blog because I think writing about your thoughts, your life and experiences are healthy.  Ones life experience should be shared because experiencing them alone is no fun.  For those of you those followed me on Twitter during child birth for Cecilia realize what I am talking about.

I hope this blog is fun for you and if you have any suggestions or questions you would like me to comment on please send them to me.  I’m game.

3D
Coming Right Atcha