This hasn't been a good year for me. The sports teams I identify with have had little good fortune. And the player I spent years defending is not even playing right now. Tonight the Suns, whom I've grown fond of, bit the dust. I'm starting to wonder whether my devotion is bound up with a curse, like appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. At least I can appreciate good play in spite of my allegiances. Although I don't haven any emotional investment in Chris Paul, for example, I can't help but notice that he really is as good as advertised.