“The lesson learned here is we can’t come out flat as a tack and give up those kind of points early,” coach Mike Dunlap said last night, following an abominable home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. First of all, Dunlap was clearly referring to the head of a tack, which is flat and spherical, rather than the pin portion, which is sharp and dangerous. Still, this seems like a clumsy use of a metaphor, because it’s that sharp edge that most people envision when they think about tacks. If you ever hear someone scream because they just stepped on a tack, your first thought isn’t, “Oh no, I bet the flatness of that tack was really painful!” In fact, let’s suppose that there were aliens who had no knowledge of our culture but had managed to intercept a single Hot 97 radio transmission of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” in which the phrase, “Aren’t you sharp as a tack?” is used. Those same aliens would be completely confused if they then had also managed to listen in on coach Dunlap’s interview last night. So let’s try to work on that, okay, coach? Try “flat as a 2-liter container of Diet Coke after it’s been left open for a week,” or “flat as a tire after it’s run over the Incredible Hulk’s heroin syringe,” or whatever pops in your head. It’s not that hard.
Anyway, the other embarrassing part of that quote is that this was not the first time the Bobcats have been given the “lesson” of starting out slow. The Bobcats have had this lesson enough to create an online Coursera syllabus. It’s also not clear why one would need a “lesson” about the dangers of letting a team score 62 points in the first half. In a game in which the object is to score more points than one’s opponent, and points are worth the same throughout the game, then limiting one’s opponents points at all times would seem fairly intuitive. In my college engineering courses, we never had a lesson on the importance of not building the Hoover Dam out of Gummi Bears. Okay, sorry, I’m just pissy right now.