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You a Nasty One, Taj Gibson

April 26, 2013

I unfortunately had to miss game 2 of the Bulls/Nets series last night but I kept up with the score throughout the night and when I saw that the Bulls miraculously pulled out the win, I couldn’t have been more relieved. Despite the poor shooting, turnovers, and the fact that the Bulls’ offense decided to fall off a cliff late in the game, I couldn’t care less. All that mattered was that the Bulls now hold a 2-1 lead in the series.

So when I eventually got home and was able to get more up to speed on what actually happened in the game outside of the box score, I was not ready for this:


Right after, I immediately thought of the two jaw-dropping, don’t-do-’em-like-THAT dunks from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat in 2011 – why don’t we take a short stroll down memory lane:

His monstrous slam over Dwyane Wade where no fucks were given, but many dunks were –

And his ‘oh, ‘scuse me O, let me just casually swoop in here out of nowhere and put all of you to shame’ put-back jam –

Thank you, Taj Gibson, for gracing us with these beautiful feats of athletic power. While, yes, dunks still only count for two points, when your offense is as ugly and hard to come by as it is for the Chicago Bulls, you’ll take a beautiful offensive highlight when you can get it. Plus they’re just fucking badass, amirite? Keep ’em coming!



We’re Back, For Real This Time: Reflections on Fandom & Derrick Rose [With Some Hyperbole for Good Measure]

April 25, 2013

If you’ve been following Hard Hat Lunch Pail lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the lack of consistent updates from us within the last year or so. I’ve been reflecting a lot on why this happened and frankly, at least for myself as the younger Yin Seeester, I chalk it up to three different reasons:

Going through the early stages of fandom. As we’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, Jocelyn has been a self declared fan of the Bulls and the NBA for much longer than I have. My obsession only recently started a few years ago and I don’t know about y’all but when I find something new to obsess over, I dive in headfirst and don’t look back. In those first few years of basketball fandom, I consumed everything I could when it came to the NBA. I lived and breathed the Bulls. Every morning I’d read updates from blogs while eating my oatmeal, listen to podcasts to and from my way to work, watch games while preparing dinner when I got home, and talk basketball 24/7 with anyone who was willing to listen; it kind of took over my life and I didn’t leave room for much else.

But as I grew accustomed to life as an NBA fan, I realized that I could still claim fan credibility without letting it dominate other areas of my life. Obvious? Perhaps. But it still took me a good long while to reach that conclusion. It wasn’t the end of the world if I chose to go out to eat with a friend and dared to miss a few games during the season. Life would go on if I wasn’t compulsively checking the NBA twitterverse all the time. It was kind of a liberating feeling; to remember that there were other things that mattered besides basketball. So while I was still following up on my beloved Bulls, I made it a point to, you know, have a life again.

Speaking of having a life again, I also moved to DC and started a new job. So. There was that.

The Derrick Rose injuries that began in the 2011-2012 season [or really, if you want to be technical, started during his rookie year] snowballed into an epic fail of which we shall not speak of. Like most of the world, or at least those with souls, I remember being completely and utterly shell-shocked when I heard that Rose would be out for the rest of the playoffs and into the ensuring year. I remember checking my twitter feed because I couldn’t watch game 1 live and then just seeing the subsequent ‘oh god’ tweets just made me want to vomit. Then, once the Bulls were rudely and unceremoniously ousted from round 1, I was devastated [but not altogether super surprised]. I felt as if my poor basketball-loving heart had been ripped from my chest and spit on by evil 76er fans. Hyperbole? Sure, maybe. But basketball and I needed to take a break.

Fast forward to free agency and well, if you’re a Bulls fan, you know how that all turned out. Once the front office let Omer walk, I became even more bitter, a little despondent, and honestly? Feeling a little indifferent. Don’t get me wrong. I still felt fierce love for the Bulls squad but knowing that Rose was going to be out for most of the season and with multiple bloggers and analysts saying that the 2012-2013 season wasn’t really going to amount to much, I was ambivalent.

Now, I’ve grown fond of this current Bulls incarnation. Jimmeh’s grown into a solid player and is a much-needed spark who encapsulates everything I love about Bulls basketball [plus the man can actually catch alley-oops!] and the guys have certainly stepped up in Rose’s absence [n8 rob, anyone?]. But something still doesn’t feel right.

At the end of the day, Derrick Rose is the leader of this team and as much as we fans might try to convince ourselves otherwise, the Bulls won’t get far without him and this truth has lingered over me all season, only giving firepower to the thought: “why bother watching?”

Now the playoffs have finally begun and as I was mentioning to Joce the other day, I made sure to mentally prepare myself by setting my expectations very, very low – reminding myself that the Bulls overachieved by most people’s standards by even being the 5th seed. A first round exit, especially with a hobbled Joakim Noah, was entirely possible if not expected. This is the kind of season it’s been; one of tempered expectations. [which is hard to do when the Bulls have epic – in both the best and ugliest way possible – defensive efforts like they did against the Nets in Game 2 this past Monday]

I guess this is part of what it means to be a sports fan. The ultimate euphoric highs, downtrodden dispirited lows, and everything in between. After spending time feeling on top of the world when Rose was the Most Valuable Player in the league, I feel like I’ve regressed to the mean. Which, honestly, is probably for the best [and good for my blood pressure]. And while it’s always disappointing when you realize your team isn’t going far in a season, at least one can comfort themselves with the notion that they’re not the Charlotte Bobcats.

All of this is to say that I/The Yin Seeesters haven’t gone anywhere. My fandom may have evolved but I will always love the Bulls no matter how cheap the front office gets and despite how much Thibs almost maniacally runs guys into the ground. It’s the fucking Bulls for chrissakes. How can you not love these guys?


Hard Hat Lunch Pail on The Joy Dunk Club

January 8, 2013
You thought Linsanity was over? (Photo Credit:

You thought Linsanity was over? (Photo Credit:


Hello gentle readers,

It’s certainly been a long time and for that, we apologize. We’ll be back with more updates, ramblings, and rants soon but in the meantime, we wanted to let all of you know about Joyce’s adventures into the google hangout world.

Starting tonight, I will be participating in a series of google hangouts with other basketball heads to talk about the phenomenon that is, you guessed it, Jeremy Lin. It’s been almost a year since he shot into super stardom and showed folks that Asians can indeed, ‘ball out.’ Now that he’s with a new franchise, new coach, new surroundings, we wanted to follow his, for lack of better phrasing, NBA journey.

From the press release:

Created and hosted by Terry Park of Hyphen magazine, each show will feature smart, energetic, “deceptively quick” analysis from folks like Keith Chow of the Asian American comics anthologies Secret Identities andShattered, Ren Hsieh of the APIA sports podcast Dat Winning, Joyce Yin of Bulls-centric blog Hard Hat Lunchpail, and other special guests, breaking down Jeremy’s game performance and weighing in on the larger cultural phenomenon of “Linsanity.”

Joy Dunk Club will be live-streamed and recorded on CineVue Online’s YouTube channel, where followers can ask real-time questions for the panelists via YouTube or Twitter (hashtag #joydunkclub).

You can catch the inaugural show on Tuesday, January 8, 8pm PST/11pm EST, right after the Rockets/Lakers game. No Lin puns allowed.

You can best believe I’ll be reppin’ HHLP like a boss and, as the only female panelist, reppin’ for the females as well. So tune in, tweet at us, and let us know what you really think of Linsanity.




How to Watch Sports With Your Female Friends Who Happen to Like the NBA: The Jeremy Lin Edition

February 24, 2012

You will not find either of the Yin Seeesters making signs like this. (Photo Credit:

Dear Gentle Reader:

Well, we had to do it. It’s been less than a month since the rest of the free world discovered Jeremy Lin. While the Yin Seeesters have happily ridden the Jeremy Lin train, today we need to add our two cents.

We thought about writing about the joy of seeing someone who “looks like us” (for lack of a better phrase) do something that we never thought possible. Then we thought about writing about all the different Cinderella angles to the story and how there were so many, “what if” moments, where Jeremy’s life could’ve gone in completely different directions. Then we thought about commenting on the slightly uneasy feeling that there’s a little bit of the “model minority myth” angle here – the quiet, hardworking, Harvard kid, who’s respectful – in contrast to the brash and brazen attitudes of those “other players” who ditch school early, don’t behave, and are overpaid millionaires. Then we realized that everyone else has covered this ground and really, there’s a huge treasure trove of brilliant (and not-so-brilliant) writing from all types of sportswriters who have covered almost every conceivable angle of the story. There is a huge amount of thoughtful and thought-provoking (and sometimes thoughtless) writing about race, racism, ethnicity, religion, commerce, the role of sports statistics, the craziness of new yorkers, the craziness of Chinese/Taiwanese people, and all the things that make the NBA our favorite sport.

And yet, what’s missing? The Asian American female sports fan voice.

Look, it’s not surprising. After all, the ratio of men to women in sports reporting is still pretty lopsided and I’m sure the Asian-Am females in the industry don’t want to write the obligatory “why Jeremy Lin means something to me as someone who is also of Asian descent” article.

So, the Yin Seeesters are here today to offer some pointers what to do when you’re watching basketball with a female who, you know, happens to look like Jeremy Lin.

  1. Find out if she’s a sports fan. Don’t assume she isn’t one and/or doesn’t know anything about sports because of her gender. Duh. We dedicate this to our good friend, YW, who had to suffer the irritation of a coworker who said she jumped on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon. Her response? “Um, I am a season ticketholder to the WASHINGTON WIZARDS.” That should be enough to demonstrate her dedication to the sport.
  2. Don’t ask her if she wants to marry Jeremy Lin.
    While we’ve been giddy over the past few weeks, we’re probably not the ones making the, “Marry me, Jeremy!!!!!!” signs that have popped up around the league. He seems like a sweet guy but come on, it’s like the clueless white kid in elementary school who asks the two Asians in his class if they’re going to get married just because they kind of “look alike.” In addition, the sign-makers are probably bandwagoners. Speaking of…
  3. If you’re a Jeremy Lin bandwagoner, you are no longer allowed to give other people grief for talking about sports. Those eyeball rolls that you used to give us? Don’t think we’ve forgotten about those.
  4. If you’re an Asian American female bandwagoner, try not to embarrass the rest of us. People already find it weird (read: hilarious) that the Yin Seeesters display as much sports hatred and disproportionate ecstasy when it comes to sporting events. Can you try not to reinforce the stereotype with clueless questions about the sport? Or at least do your research?
  5. Don’t ask a Bulls fan if they’re Knicks fans now. We’re not gonna lie – the Knicks have become must-see tv for us. We watch Knicks games as much as we watch Bulls games. BUT WE ARE NOT KNICKS FANS. Do we hope that Jeremy does well? Yes. Do we like seeing him run the pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler, a former Bull? Yes. But make no mistake, if the Bulls match up against the Knicks in the playoffs, you can bet that we’ll be cheering for the Bulls to make it quick and merciful so they can move onto the second round.

Whew, that felt nice to get off our chests. We’re looking forward to watching the Jeremy Lin story play out and hopefully it’ll be a story that we can tell our grandkids about. In the meanwhile, don’t ask us if we think Jeremy Lin is cute.

The Yin Seeesters



An Ode to Carlos Boozer

February 14, 2012

On this day last year, we here at Hard Hat Lunch Pail wrote an ode to a man that made most everyone in Bulls nation want to gouge their eyes out: Keith Bogans. We felt bad for the man. He only did what Thibs told him to do. Not his fault that he only averaged 4.4 points a game, couldn’t run the break with Derrick, seemed to only know how to shoot 3-pointers [and not very well] and…..well, yeah.

Yes, he was generally useless on the floor except for the occasional ‘break out’ game where’d he score more than 6 points but he never seemed to let any of the fans’ disdain get to him and actually seemed like a pretty nice dude.

Nonetheless, it was no surprise that he got cut from the team this season. I mean, let’s be real here. But  Joce and I were both pretty surprised that no team picked him up right away as a solid 11th or 12th man off the bench. So, we were happy to see him finally get picked up by the New Jersey Nets but disappointed to see that he’d be out for the rest of the season to have surgery and get waived before his contract was guaranteed to boot. Alas, the life of a NBA scrub. Get well soon, Keith.

Anyway, a year later on this Valentine’s Day, we’ve written another ode to a similarly much-maligned Chicago Bull: a certain, 6’9″ 260lb man by the name of Carlos Boozer. He gets a lot of flak – rightfully so – for not playing much [read: any] defense and for really only producing against shit frontcourts. And while the Yin Seeesters have shaken our heads at him many a time, we thought today, we’d give him a break and wrote him this ode:

Boozer's gift to you on this Valentine's Day. (Photo Credit: Joyce)

There exists a Bull at the four
Last name, Boozer. First name, Carlos
Whose defense always leaves Bulls fans screaming, ‘MORE!!’
And this never changes whether the Bulls win or lose

When Lebron picked Wade over Rose
GarPax had to go to plan B
Somehow plan B turned into Carlos
And Bulls fans said, “we’ll wait and see”

To no one’s surprise
Carlos tripped over a bag
And everyone rolled their eyes
Of course a full season was not to be had

Whether Boozer was in or out
The Bulls continued to win
And when he would return people would shout,
“Stop committing fouls so that we can win!!”

So here we are today with man-who-screams, “and 1”
Who has big nights but never when it counts
Whose salary is big and weighs a ton
And is getting heavier ounce by ounce

Now with the help of Tajywu
Fans can only hope and pray
That Miami will be the one to lose
And leave the Bulls standing with the coveted ‘ship at the end of the day

See red tonight when the Bulls play Sac-town and Boozer allows himself to get bullied by DeMarcus Cousins while we all collectively scream at him to RUN BACK ON DEFENSE, GODDAMMIT.
Happy V-Day, y’all,
–Joyce & Jocelyn

Yes, We’re Still Alive

February 10, 2012

Hello dear, gentle readers,

You probably thought the Yin seeesters dropped off the face of the earth, never to return, didn’t you? That this blog would drift into internet oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again? That’s fair. Truth be told, once the lockout hit and the number of interesting NBA-related things to write about [lockout-related topics do not count] dropped to zero, we weren’t quite sure what was going to happen to HHLP. It was a strange feeling, having an actual life outside of basketball. For the first time in ages, I had the brain space, that would normally be occupied by player stats and storylines, to think about, you know, things that actually kinda matter like if I wanted oatmeal or cereal for breakfast. My life wasn’t planned around the Bulls/NBA schedule. I was forced to talk about topics other than basketball with real, human beings.

It was super weird and I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it.

But that’s irrelevant now because we [very obviously] have an NBA season on our hands! And you can bet that the Yin seeesters have been following every minute of it. We’ve just failed to document our obsession to the tee in this new, shortened season. However, WE’RE BACK! No, really. We’ve been brainstorming a slew of different things to write about and are excited to share with all of you. [Yes, there will probably be a Jeremy Lin-related post in the near future. He’s part of our Asian brethren – we can’t NOT write about him, c’mon now].

For now, we leave you with a great Luol Deng commercial by Nike. Congrats to the solid, do-it-all man from Sudan for his recent All-Start selection! Love you, Gl-uol Deng! [yeah, I went there]:

Check back soon for actual updates!



P.S. I miss the Lu-hawk.

Yao Ming’s Real Retirement Speech

September 16, 2011

Giles Li is a Boston-based, Asian American spoken word artist who also happens to be a basketball fan. Because of his Boston roots, I think he may indeed be a Celtics fan but……we won’t talk about that.

The subject at hand is a wonderful piece that should’ve been Yao Ming’s real retirement speech:

“100 experts say that my value is not as a man, but as a marketing tool.”

“How I pretend not to hear every goddamn slur in every goddamn city every goddamn day of my life.”

“Y’all been telling me my own story for so long I figured no one wanted to hear it from my lips anyway.”

Miss you, Yao. But glad you’re moving on.