Well, like New Yorkers have a tendency to do with all of their sports teams, they've taken the Isiah Thomas debacle to its illogical extreme. (Hey, I, Evil Ted, am from Boston, so I know a little something about taking fandom to an illogical extreme).
Straight out of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
, New York Knicks fans have worked themselves into an hyper-organized frenzy in their attempts to get Isiah Thomas fired. Now, instead of merely scribbling "Fire Isiah" on readily available items like white Madison Square Garden food platters
, they gathered Wednesday morning outside MSG to display an 8-foot-tall pink slip
, complete with signatures by New York Knicks "fans" to support Isiah's dismissal.Long Island Dentist Art G. Nathan (in the snappy blue hat) supposedly organized the high-profile lynching... I mean, protest.
Look at that Pink Slip. You know how much it costs to print up something like that? And check out all the signage. These are no longer scribbles - there are apparently legions of graphic designers now in on the campaign to get Isiah fired. This is more mass-produced zeal and mobilization than Hillary and Barack are getting combined
So here's a question: do you think disgruntled New York Knicks fans crafted all this elaborate signage themselves? Or has it yet crossed anyone's mind that the Knicks organization itself had a hand in this? Let's face it, people, this team is going nowhere. The fans know it, and management knows it. You know what management is doing? It's turning the innate desire of New Yorkers to fire it's coach into a PR campaign.
So, with that in mind, do you think Isiah is going to be fired any time soon? Do you think Knicks brass want all of this to just "go away"? All of this attention
, of this gathering
, all of this buying tickets
just for the chance to boo and hiss and join in a "Fire Isiah" chant? Do you think they want all of this to end and make their crummy, overpaid 8-17 team the center of attention? Do you think they're looking down from their MSG offices at the "Pink Slip" crowd and ruing the day they ever hired Isiah? Of course not. They've miraculously stumbled upon a way to make their awful organization relevant, and they're going to ride that fortuitous wave for as long as you, New York, will allow it.
Instead of "Dump Isiah," your professionally-produced signs might just as well say "I'm a mindless corporate pawn incapable of discerning that the Iraq war is more important than this."
And poor Isiah. I say that not with sarcasm, I say it with genuine sympathy. Hey, I never liked him - he's part of the "bad boy" Pistons who knocked my beloved Celtics off their 80's pedestal. And he's always come off to me as a whiny, vindictive, petty human being. But just like the masses outside MSG, he's being used. As soon as the fervor dies down, as soon as people have grown so apathetic about this Knicks team that they just stop caring whether or not Isiah is fired - that
is when he will go. That is when his one and only value to this team will be gone, and management will discard him without a second thought, perhaps ironically citing "public outcry" as the reason for his dismissal.
So, New York, figured it out yet? You really
want to fire Isiah? Really?
Well then, dummies, do what fans all over the world do when their team is abysmal and not worthy of attention. Ignore them. Go see a Broadway show. Take a walk in beautiful Central Park. Go online and make a new friend from another country. Visit them in that country. Have them visit you. Take up carpentry. Try a new restaurant. Have sex. Read with your kid. Bake cookies. Learn a new language. Take your "Reserved for Knicks Tickets" stash of cash and give it to a Hurricane Katrina or California wildfire charity.
But don't picket your coach. It's not worth your time, and it's keeping Isiah employed.- E.T.P.S. to New York> And please don't try to rationalize this fervor by saying that it's because of Isiah's sexual harassment conviction. We ALL know that if Isiah were coaching a team with a 20 and 3 record, he could be an axe murderer and Knicks fans would still tote him around on a golden throne, and fans would be chopping complimentary blow-up hatchets at Knicks games.
Labels: Fire Isiah, Isiah Thomas, New York Knicks, Pink Slip