We Ê0face them — forks and crossroads spaced strategically along the superhighway of life — as we navigate through the first decade of the fast-paced, dog-eat-dog 21st century.
Some options are easy. Vanilla ice cream or spinach? First-class air or freight train? Faith Hill or Paris Hilton? Margaret Thatcher or Paris Hilton? Any woman on earth or Paris Hilton? Cheeseburger and fries or tossed salad? (Jeff Cali would “toss” a salad out a window unless it was covering up a T-Bone steak.)
Other choices are more difficult. John Wayne or Clint Eastwood? Superman or Spiderman? George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush? Bass fishing or deer hunting? Man O’ War or Citation? Washing dishes or changing diapers?
And then — once in a blue moon — we’re faced with agonizing choices that even King Solomon might have struggled with. Such a dilemma occurred during Sunday night’s prime time TV programming.
I was forced to make an executive decision after I realized Game 2 of the NBA Finals and the finale of “The Sopranos” were scheduled for the same time slot.
What a nightmare! Would it be LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the San Antonio Spurs or Tony Soprano and his mafia family? Hacks or whacks? Lobs or mobs? Dunks or punks? Fast breaks or arms and legs broken fast? Nikes or cement shoes? “Hoosiers” or “Godfather?” Larry Bird or Al Capone?
In case you’re not a fan of Tony Soprano — the character played by James Gandolfini — he was the head of a dysfunctional New Jersey mafia family. After eight years, “The Sopranos,” considered by many critics the best TV series ever, ended with Sunday’s episode. Anticipation was high as the final scene in the previous week’s telecast had Tony all alone on a bed clutching an automatic weapon. The camera panned away ominously toward the bedroom door as the episode ended.
In case you’re not a LeBron James fan, he’s led the Cavaliers to the NBA’s championship round. The Spurs had a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-7 series heading into Sunday night’s battle.
Monday morning update
Millions of Tony Soprano fans breathed a sigh of relief when Tony made it through the final show without gettin’ offed. No, his family wasn’t killed before his eyes. Brooklyn mob boss Phil Leotardo, who had ordered a hit on Tony, didn’t prevail. No mass exterminations.
There was, however, another slaughter at the Alamo as the Spurs rolled over LeBron James and his Cavaliers.
In the end, Tony Soprano will live on forever in reruns of the 86 episodes. And LeBron James lived to play another day.
Which one did I watch?
Neither. I was content to reread one of my favorite books by Woody Allen.
The NBA and “The Sopranos?” You can have them both.
But that’s not to say I didn’t like some of the lines in the show.
My favorite Soprano line came from Leotardo (Frank Vincent), who offered a Yogi Berraism in one of his warnings to Tony: “Next time, there won’t be a next time!”
During another episode, Tony’s chat with Silvio probably explained exactly how LeBron felt after going down 2-0 to the Spurs: “All due respect, you got no ... idea what it’s like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other ... thing. It’s too much to deal with almost. And in the end, you’re completely alone with it all.”