The Celtics' Game 5 win over the Heat last night felt -- perhaps even was -- momentous. Short of their championship, it felt like the biggest win of Boston's "Big Three/Four" era. For those of us intrigued about the Heat failing, it was a fascinating night.
But the show was stolen by a perky young Heat fan caught by ESPN cameras as the dejected, stunned Heat trudged from the court to their locker room. The fan was shouting:
"GOOD JOB! GOOD EFFORT! GOOD JOB! GOOD EFFORT!"
For this kid, it was an earnest exhortation of his favorite team, his heroes. That kid was adorable. His parents should be proud -- he is a great fan.
But for the rest of us, it was unintended schadenfreude. There was a twisted derivation of "Emperor's New Clothes" -- the child doesn't know any better than to rotely cheer "Good effort!" when, in fact, the game was defined by the Heat's sub-par effort (for example, Wade jogging back on D late in the game).
The context mattered -- the Heat battered, having lost home-court advantage and having to win Game 6 on the road in Boston, which will be in a frenzy, and staring at a second straight Playoffs failure.
And so "Good job! Good effort!" became an instant meme, an instant thing. It will dominate the next 48 hours -- perhaps longer.
In one of the truly ironic unintended consequences you'll see, the innocent cheering of a Heat fan has become the new universal catch-phrase to mock Miami's failure.