It's official. Nobody was watching the NBA Finals this year.
Well okay, not "nobody" exactly. But the Finals averaged a pitiful 9.2 million viewers
per game -- the worst ratings ever for the Big Show, easily surpassing the previous all-time low of 9.9 million (for the soul-numbing 2003 Nets/Spurs Finals).
To put this into perspective, more people tuned into America's Got Talent
(11.8 million), So You Think You Can Dance
(10.6 million), and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader
(9.97 million) than Game 4 of the NBA Finals (9.91 million). That's right: the American public would rather watch a tone-deaf cocktail waitress try to sing and dance, or an auto mechanic try to guess the capital of Montana, than see Tim Duncan battle Lebron James for the world championship of professional basketball.
That sound you just heard was David Stern's bleeding ulcer. Exploding
.Better than the NBA Finals? Millions said "yes."
Some other NBA Finals fun facts: The ratings for this year's Finals were down 28 percent from last year
. What takes that tragic figure and gives it a Super Size of "sad" is that the 2006 Heat/Mavericks crapstravaganza was one of the worst-rated Finals in history. In fact, you can accurately consider this a trend, since the five lowest-rated NBA Finals have taken place during the past six seasons (three of which featured your world champion San Antonio Spurs).
So what can be done to fix this mess? John Hollinger has some ideas
, but, no offense to him, they suck. His suggestions include such revolutionary concepts as better exposure for the league, better team matchups, and a better overall season. Wow. Those are some pretty radical suggestions there, John.
Forget all that namby-pamby stuff. PBS can't afford to show an NBA "Game of the Week," it's impossible to legislate quality of play, and short of fixing games via dubious suspensions (or even dubiouser non-suspensions), the league can't dictate which teams will make the NBA Finals. Well, never fear, my children. I've got your fixes right here:Things that could improve the NBA Finals1.
Show the Finals on tape delay, just like the late 70s/early 80s. Only instead of actual footage, the games will be lovably and laughably recreated by the makers of Robot Chicken
! Tim Duncan might be as boring as listening to your boss talk about how to seamlessly operationalize cross-platform paradigm transfers, but an animated Tim Duncan made out of chunks of clay that look like cow poop? Now that
would be worth watching.2.
Build a time machine. Then, if the Finals end up sucking (again), you can simply go back in time and tell your past self not to watch. This will probably cause some kind of deadly catastrophe with the Space-Time Continuum that will destroy this universe and maybe a few others. But if you actually watched this year's championship series, I'm sure you'll agree that snuffing out billions of lives will probably be worth it.2a.
Before destroying the universe, you should go back to first grade and beat up that bully who pulled your pants down in front of Heather Durfy.3.
Before the tip-off of Game 1, replace the members of each team with a prechosen mix of lumberjacks, monkeys, pirates, ninjas, and Chuck Norris. This will require you to surround the court with an unbreakable steel cage and a bubble of shatter-proof glass, but oh man, the show would be television gold.4.
Spankings. And after the spankings, the oral sex
. It may not improve the Finals per se, but it'll make everything else a little better.5.
Quest for the Holy Grail. Assuming you survive the quest and actually recover the Grail, use it to restore the youth and vigor of various NBA legends (Bird, Magic, Michael, et al). Then let them save the league and, by extension, the Finals.6.
Expose all current NBA players and draft prospects to large doses of radiation (Gamma Rays, Cosmic Rays, etc.). The players who don't melt or immediately develop a deadly cancer will probably be imbued with fantastic powers beyond our wildest imaginations. Wouldn't you watch a basketball game where everybody had superhuman strength and half of the players were on fire? I know I would.
Labels: Lebron James, NBA Finals, San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan