Sunday, March 24, 2013

The NCAA's

Hate to be a hater, but I'm tired and cranky.  I don't find lower seeds winning to be inspiring or romantic in itself;  and in fact if one wants to truly be pro-underdog I say take it back to the days of only conference champs being allowed in the national tournament. (the regular season true champs I mean, not whoever comes out of the stupidly redundant manufactured drama of the conference tourneys.)  This may perhaps break the power of major state schools to hoard all the money by forming 'super-leagues', or even relieve major state schools that do not care about basketball, like the University of Nebraska, from feeling obliged to spending millions in state money on coaches salary so as to respectfully pretend to care.  Or maybe I'm just naive on all that. 

The bigger problem though is that college ball is suffering from the same problem the NBA suffered at the turn of the century of having gotten way too quasi-football like; plodding, regimented, authoritarian.  I'm not one to mindlessly believe that 'more points = better' but, come on now!  This is basketball.  It's supposed to be about going fast and doing awsome shit.   I went to a small-class high school in western Nebraska.  I have seen enough White boy zombiewalk basketball to have more than served my lifetime sentence for 'appreciating fundamentals' thank you very much.  62-60 scorelines as the norm is just so much joyless dreck.

Still, with the pressure to win being what it is, and the amount of money at stake for all, (except of course the players, who should of course be grateful to be kept morally pure from being compensated for their efforts) I'm afraid that it's only going to keep going on and on like this unless we as a society are willing to embrace some truly radical year 0 solutions.  Legally abolish the position of coach, in every sport.  Launch a Maoist style culture-cleansing against the entire mythology of  'Great Men' teaching 'their boys; to 'succeed in the game of life.'  Put team leadership in the hands of whatever player has naturally established himself as 'captain' by either talent personality or whatever combination of the two.  Once this is done, and Bobby Knight has been either savagely killed or so broken by torture that he becomes a willing shill for the revolution, then we can talk about more practical measures like reducing the shot-clock to NBA standard 24 seconds, abolishing TV time-outs and leaving teams only two per half, or mandating a man-to-man defense. But let's take care of the fun part first. 

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