How Joe Johnson saved me from frostbite



In my family, whenever someone brags about something that is in any way complaining, we say, “Would you like a cookie?”

It’s a terrible joke that is baked (pun intended) in sarcasm. And the response is usually a flat ha-ha.

The reason why I tell you this is because I would like to say, before I tell this story, that I would like a cookie. I deserve one.

I recently took a job as the sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Ithaca. I just moved into to my new apartment yesterday, and learned last night that I wouldn’t have internet or cable until next week. Knowing I had an assignment to cover this game, I was left in a predicament as to where I could go to stream, grade and recap.

To make matters worse, a horrible snowstorm has made its way through town, which conveniently closed all the coffee shops, as well as the nearby 24-hour Wegmans Market Cafe. About a half-hour before tip off, I had my phone in hand to make the call to say there was no way I could cover this game. Then I came up with a last ditch plan.

To make a long story short, I covered tonight’s game inside my car, parked in an empty lot on Cornell’s dark and snow-ridden campus, running League Pass through their guest WiFi and tweeting from my laptop whose battery was draining by the quarter. In nine degree weather.

Campus police patrolled the streets and I knew that if they saw what I was doing, they would tell me to go home. So I let the snow cover my windshields and left the ignition off, keeping myself completely undercover.

By halftime, my feet and hands were cold. By the third quarter, I was smacking my shoes against the ground to keep them from going numb. By Joe Cool’s game winner, I was shaking and shivering, and I could barely feel my hands enough to tweet out the game grades I wrote while wearing the only form of hand warmers I could find — my mom’s mittens that she left behind from move in.

This would all have been horrible if not for the game I got to watch in the CRV.

At halftime, I thought I was destined to be covering a terrible game in the worst conditions possible and I was brainstorming recap ideas of: “How could a team care so little?”

That column may still come, but it won’t come tonight.

The Nets turned it around. They quietly won the third quarter and then kept pace in the fourth.

Reggie Evans had the play that turned the tide, when he drew a foul on Kevin Durant to give him his fifth. It forced OKC to play a little more cautiously and allowed Brooklyn to get back in the game.

As time ticked away, I prayed to the snow gods to keep this game from overtime. I didn’t know how I could have done it — rewriting new grades as my body got colder and colder. When KG flubbed his final play with 16 seconds left, I knew that OKC would score next, and they did.

But then freezing cold Joe Cool saved me from the freezing cold, and probably (not) frostbite.

Thank you man. That’s my favorite shot of your Nets career.

It’s impressive that the Nets beat the Thunder at home, Westbrook-less or not, but I’m not ready to get caught up in it. We’ve been here before, and we’ll probably be here again. It was a good win at the right time. It was a turnaround for D-Will, Joe and Pierce. It’s a win that will hopefully give this team some confidence and test what they are made of. I’m not ready to take it further than that.

Right now, the Nets are undefeated at home this year (RIP Nets PR), and I’m in my warm bed, eating pizza and blogging from the infinitely more comfortable iPhone WordPress app. Life is good.

Now bring me a freaking cookie.