Sunday, May 11, 2008

52 52 52 Week #12: California

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

Sometimes, you get a little tired of trying to talk up the likes of Tenleytown (the highpoint is in a reservoir!) and Jehimoth Hill (you can't count the nearby trailer park as taller because it's man-made!). You pine for something fresh, something new, something bigger than ever before, something...inspiring. there anything you can't do? (I would have said "emote", but then I saw Twins. There's some serious drama going on there.)

That's right, everybody, we're talking Mount Whitney, soaring to a finally motherfucking respectable height of 14,505 feet. Glorious. Here's what you need to know:

1. It's only 76 miles away from America's lowest point, Death Valley. I smell a comically-mismatched buddy movie! (Shit, I officially have Twins on the brain.)

2. According to Wikipedia, "The estimated elevation of the summit of Mount Whitney has changed over the years. This is not due to the peak growing (although it is)." Sounds like somebody's feeling a little inadequate about their summit elevation. It's OK, Mount Whitney. We know you're plenty big...and getting bigger! And ladies, he's available...

3. One of the mini-summits on Mount Whitney got renamed Crooks Peak because a lady called Hulda Crooks kept climbing the damn thing every year into her nineties. Hmm...Crooks Peak. Is it too late to make that Mt. Whitney/Death Valley movie into a heist flick?

So, which paper shall we discuss today? I desperately wanted to do The Berkley Daily Planet, but sadly, much like The Washington Blade, it doesn't have a sports section to speak of. That means for the second straight week I've almost subjected you all to endless comic book references...and fate intervened. I'm pretty sure I should take something away from that.

Instead, I turn to The Daily Breeze, which just has to have the chillest (if I may use a little slice of the California parlance) name of any newspaper I've ever heard of. With a name like The Daily Breeze, you just know there's some seriously cool vibes going on in the press room. Or smoking weed. Or voting for Obama. I get my liberal stereotypes mixed up, to be honest. Doug Krikorian, maybe your piece on Kyle Korver can sort it all out...

There is no one who is watching the playoff series between the Lakers and Utah Jazz with more intense interest, or a greater sense of pride, than the Korver families of Paramount as well as the ones in Pella, Iowa.

That's right people; no other player's family cares nearly as much. The Bryants? Still catching up on The Wire. The Boozers? They sold their TV two years ago to protest Panasonic for reasons they still haven't adequately explained. And thank goodness someone finally had the guts to point out that Pau Gasol's parents don't give two shits about this series. Word is, they still think he's playing soccer.

Also, people showing an inordinate amount of interest in Kyle Korver? How...unprecedented.

You must understand that the Jazz's top reserve, the deft shooting Kyle Korver, has strong ties to both cities, having spent the first 11 years of his life in Paramount before moving to Pella, where he became an extraordinary high school player before going on to star at Creighton.

Which would explain the presence of family in both locations. I mean, I'd sorta deduced from context that that was pretty much the reason, but I'm glad I didn't have to exert any mental energy at all to work that out. That really wouldn't be commensurate with the motto of The Daily Breeze: "Dude...chill."

So, it's not exactly a stunning development that Korver would excel in basketball, considering his athletic roots.

All the sons of the pastor emeritus of Emmanuel Reformed Church, Harold Korver, who arrived in Paramount with his family in 1971, turned out to be basketball stars at Paramount High.

And all would go on to play after graduating from the school, with Kevin Korver, Ken Korver and Karl Korver playing at Central College in Pella, Kris Korver at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and Keith Korver at Hope College in Holland, Mich.

Kevin, Ken, Karl, Kris, and Keith? Who the hell does Harold Korver think he is, Roger Clemens?

I know, I know, that reference is both hacky and a little outdated, but frankly I prefer to remember the somewhat absurd redneck jackass version of Clemens instead of the downright creepy redneck asshole version of Clemens. Maybe I'm alone in this.

Also, I know Harold chose the "K" scheme just to be alliterative with Korver, but I'd like to think he had a dumbass reason similar to Clemens's strikeout-themed naming scheme. Considering his background as a pastor, I nominate kenosis, "the concept of the 'self-emptying' of one's own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and his perfect will." So, um...yay for kenosis!

"We all played at NAIA Division III basketball schools," Ken Korver said. "We all loved the sport."

Ken, if you were willing to play in NAIA Division III, I think it goes without saying you loved the sport.

Kevin Korver would depart Paramount with his family in 1992 for Pella, where he has become a pastor at the Third Reformed Church along with Keith Korver. Kris Korver is now the head basketball coach at Northwestern College. Karl Korver is a school teacher and coach in Pella. An adopted sixth brother, Rick Jones, has been a teacher and football coach at El Dorado High in Placentia.

If adopting somebody who doesn't even have the common courtesy to have a name that fits the family alliteration isn't the definition of Christian charity...well then, I've clearly been misinformed. Trouble with atheism, I guess.

Also, when the hell is this going to start having anything to do with Kyle Korver? Don't think you can fool me, Doug Krikorian, into mixing him up with Karl Korver. Or Kris, for that matter. OK, maybe with Kevin. Maybe.

While Kyle Korver has been etching a niche for himself in the NBA now for five seasons - he was traded Dec. 26 to the Jazz - with his accurate shooting

Don't forget his Kutcher-ian good looks! (Actually, I'm now officially rooting for some wayward member of the Korver clan to call their kid "Kutcher Korver." I mean, there are only so many actual names that start with a "K", right?)

The rest of this is a long discussion of how the Korver brand of Christianity (Kristianity?) saved the neighborhood of Paramount and made it pretty again. Which is cool and all, I guess, but also boring as hell. So I'm skipping it.

Two quick things though before we wrap this up...

The 27-year-old Korver found it ironic to be playing against the team for which he once cheered lustily.

Lustily? Way to accuse Kyle of one of the seven deadly sins, Doug Krikorian.

His parents, Kevin and Laine Korver and younger brother Kaleb, his grandparents, Harold and Shirley Korver, and his uncle and aunt, Ken and Lisa Korver and two of their children, Kurtis and Kari, waited patiently in the stands afterward for him.

Kaleb, Kurtis...and Kari? Oh, you've got to be fucking kidding me. I'm just amazed they actually permit Korvers to marry people named "Laine" or "Lisa" instead of "Kaine" or "Kisa." Although both of those start with "L", and "L" is the twelfth letter and right after the eleventh letter "K", and eleven plus twelve equals twenty-three, and The Number 23 made perfect sense, so...

Shit, I've gone insane again. But in case a member of the Korver family is reading (and judging from this article, there are about five million of them, so I like my odds), I'd like to throw out a few new names you might like to try on...

Kutcher Korver (c''d be hilarious!)
Kristian Korver (how better to prove how Christian you are...)
Karma Korver (...while also embracing multi-culturalism!)
Kalamazoo Korver (he'll be the toast of Michigan!)
Kennymayne Korver (his dry humor will strangely amuse everybody!)
Karchie Kicklewhite Korver (a man can dream, right?)
Kostas Korver (weigh in on the Bissinger-Leitch thing!)
Krikorian Korver (well, he did write this article)
Kevorkian Korver (it's what everyone is going to think you named Krikorian anyway, so why fight it, other than your almost certain moral opposition to the man's work?)
Karate Kid Korver (Bill Simmons fans will love it, as will hardcore Legion of Superheroes fans, and I'm pretty sure those are the only two types of people)

I could keep doing this, but they'd just start sucking even more than those do.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure anyone named Archie Micklewhite has a right to give someone else a hard time about their name. But, I thought you'd like to know that Kris Korver has a son named Christian (spelled with a "C," amazingly). And a niece named Kristi ... Also, there's no NAIA Div. III. The writer got NAIA Div. II (Northwestern College) mixed up with NCAA Div. III (Central College, Hope College). NAIA Div. III would be YMCA ball.

Archie Micklewhite said...

This is, I swear, my fourth attempt at posting a response comment. Blogger officially hates my guts, not that I can blame the dude. Anyway...

I appreciate the info on both the Korver family and the NAIA, both of which I freely admit I'm almost totally ignorant of. And I'm not so much giving a hard time as reveling in the mild ridiculousness of the K-themed naming scheme, which frankly is really sort of awesome (if, as I said, a little absurd). So it's all good.

Djmmm said...

I'm extra not sure someone named "anonymous" has the right to make a comment about someone named "Archie Micklewhite" having the right to give someone a hard time about their name. So *raspberry* to you sir and/or madam!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Laine Korver and Lisa Korver are sisters? They grew up Laine and Lisa Lundy. Hee, hee.

Anonymous said...

Also, there is a middle name scheme as well - they all start with E's. So, the initials go KEK. Kyle Elliot Korver. Klayton Everett Korver...