My Swiss grandmother speaks French, my mother is fluent, and my sister is conversational. I do not parlez vous Francais one petit bit. But upon the announcement that Paris will host the 2009-10 Final Four from May 7-9, a particular dessert-inspired French word comes to mind: PARFAIT!
Say this in the drive-thru at McDonald’s and you will be swiftly rewarded with a cup of fruit, nuts, and yogurt. But in French, to be “parfait” means to be flawlessly wonderful. Quite literally, it means “PERFECT”.
Only a month or two ago Sam and I were looking over the past hosts and shaking our heads: Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Prague, Athens, Madrid, Berlin.
“Damn. Those would’ve been awesome,” I’d say. “I hope they have it some place just as cool next Spring.”
Sam glanced over the list and then thought out loud, “Paris hasn’t had it in a while. That’d be f***in’ sweet.”
And how f***in’ sweet it is. F***in’ sweeter than a McDonald’s parfait. Paris’ perfection sits atop the Eiffel Tower, hangs beneath the Arc de Triomphe and admires the splendor of the Louvre’s hallowed halls, but Slam and Freaknick’s honeymoon will feature artists who prefer hardwood over canvas.
Instead of Monet’s broad strokes, we have McIntyre’s precision. While many revere Mona Lisa’s mysterious face, we gawk at the stylings of Boniface N’Dong. The creativity of Picasso with the brush pales in comparison to the genius of Papaloukas with the ball. I’ll take Fran Vazquez over Diego Velazquez, and when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, did he use a step ladder or just stand on Tomas van den Spiegel’s shoulders?
No matter which teams make it to the Euroleague’s final weekend, a classical sort of modern art will be splattered on the shimmering planks of Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, and I will be there to see the drama unravel.