Rocky Horror Basketball

January17/ 2000

… Last Sunday produced two of the most exciting games in Big Four basketball history.  Bitter rivals battling to the final seconds with something “on the line” for each team.  Yet, as a sign of our times … the post-game discussions center around spectator issues rather than the athletes.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult classic when “the audience” became part of the show.  In theater parlance it’s called “breaking the 4th wall” and it describes the current state of ACC and NCAA sports … sigh, sob, sniff.

   For those of you not in the Triangle media footprint … the aftermath of the Sunday Big Four Doubleheader has centered around:

(1)     Chris Paul’s punching Julius Hodge in his (insert favorite euphemism).

(2)     Julius’ brother coming out on the court

(3)     Wolfpack fans taunting Paul with “I killed your Grandfather” “chants”

(1)     Roy Williams’ son Scott being evicted from courtside by Larry Rose.

   Since these were the final home games of the season, this increasing tendency for spectators to become past of the game production will lie dormant until next November.  As society and sports slide further down the slippery slope of incivility, we can expect more of such incidents next year and the next.  “Civility lost” is seldom regained.

   It is worth noting that such incidents are virtually non-existant in neutral site tournaments or the NCAA Tournament.  Do ya think the lack of court-side student sections MIGHT have something to do with that coincidence?

   Where is “the line” of decency and/or acceptable conduct?  Hell, IS there “a line” any more?

   My fellow Carolina fans, of course, always know the twin causes of any evil and malfeasances … Dickie Baddour and/or Mike Krzyzewski.  Righteous indignation over “the Scott Williams incident” immediately put The Dickster in the crosshairs.  Somehow the embattled AD “was responsible”.  Actually I understand he was out of the country at the time teaching a seminar to North Koreans in “How to destroy Western Civilization”.

   The “facts” in the Scott Williams Incident are that Referee Larry Rose took exception to remarks Scott, sitting courtside, was making relative to his (Rose’s) reluctance to oppose Coach K.  Contrary to the immediate urban legends that sprang up, Scott was NOT “ejected”, “crucified”, or forced to give Mikki Krzyzewski a pedicure.  He was simply relocated to the VIP box where his mother sits.  Scott was “out-of-line” as a relative and/or University official to be verbally abusive to a game official.  His post-game contriteness agrees with my assessment.  Dawn Bunting gets “emotional” at Kenan Football games too but she is usually well-removed from the officials (a good thing!) and only fans within 100’ of her can hear her “comments”.

   Any discussion of “fan involvement” at basketball games has to begin with the Cameron Crazies.  When this student cheering section first came to prominence in the 70s it was “clever”.  West Derm’s “intellectual geeks” devised clever “Dennis Miller-esque jeers and cheers” aimed at discombobulating opposing players and coaches.  Tied to obtuse literary and historical references, their early repertory was “funny”.  Unfortunately as with most humor that involves a certain intellectual cognizance, it soon descended into the toilet where neither clever nor appropriate can be used in the same sentence with their actions in recent years.

   If Ol’ Buchanan Duke’s ancestors didn’t have their own DNA helixes tied in granny knots, they would likely find “the Crazies” of 2005 an embarrassment to the family name.  But goofy Doris Duke set that bar pretty low.  The only two excuses for yelling an F-Bomb in public involve a hammer and a thumb or the sight of Teddy Kennedy on national TV.  Neither of those justify 1,500 geeky blue-painted children screaming obscenities in a crowded building.  The “Crazies” could be ratcheted back to “loud and clever” if Duke officials wanted them to be.  So long as the “Crazies” are applauded by the ACC and NCAA then every other school’s outrageous student section behavior is “justified” by comparison.

   Meanwhile over at the RBC Center … 

   Who knew that there are 147+ euphemisms for a man’s groin?  All it took was Chris Paul hitting Julius Hodge “there” for the endless litany to be hauled out.  The Junior League Handbook only lists 63 euphemisms for a man’s “tallywacker” so “Paul’s Punch” opened new frontiers in anatomical nomenclature.  

   So Paul sucker-punches Hodge which naturally brings Hodge’s brother out onto the court.  Again, urban legends immediately formed about how he was “manhandled”, “evicted”, “executed”, and/or added to the short list to replace Herb.  The “facts” were that Lee Fowler quickly intervened and escorted Mr Hodge out-of-sight.  Whether he remained in the building is unclear but he did not reappear on the court.

   Paul has been suspended for Wake’s next game BY SKIP PROSSER.  That punitive action seems appropriate although some Wolfpackers are demanding nothing less than castration for Paul, “the death penalty” for Wake Forest, and the burning of all Baptist churches.

   The Grandfather Chant…

   There were 18,000 fans at this game.  17,900 of them were Wolfpack partisans.  There IS a faction of Wolfpack “fans” that is a disgrace to NCSU, mankind, and the animal kingdom.  Maybe its just ONE GUY who stands along Trinity Road in the Fall and throws F-bombs at anyone wearing opponents colors, and maybe he’s the same cretin that throws batteries (and the occasional cellphone) at opposing players/coaches every few years.  Maybe there are a few dozen of these jackasses or even a few 100; but it is NOT the mainstream Wolfpack supporter.  

   Yes, nearbout every Wolfpacker has a certain level of paranoia in his system and an inherited dislike for the N&O; but that’s no worse than Tar Heel pompous arrogance.  

   Did a few Wolfpack jackass fans taunt Chris Paul about “I killed your grandfather”?  Probably, that faction of jackasses has limitless poor taste.  Was this tasteless action participated in and condoned by 99% of the NC State fans in attendance?  Certainly not.  But that didn’t stop Barry “Mr Bojangles” Saunders of the N&O from igniting a broadbrush wildfire of controversy.

   I almost always defend my fellow columnists, reporters, and broadcasters.  I know most of them and their vulnerability to ceaseless criticism from the howler monkeys is simply further evidence that “the best and the brightest” of society do not post on fan boards.  But in the case of Barry Saunders I say “Fire Away”.

   Barry is (1) a “metro columnist” for the N&O … (2) an African American … (3) a “one trick” pony … (4) a self-indulgent lightning rod of needless controversy.  Barry Saunders’ job description is quite simple – “piss off all da white folks in North Raleigh and Cary”.  He recently set off a local firestorm with accusations of racism against the residents of Wakefield, an upscale residential subdivision in Raleigh.  I don’t care for the folks in Wakefield, but I may buy a lot there just to oppose him.  Barry’s deck contains 52 “race cards” and he deals’em on any issue; along with ubiquitous quotes from Fred Sanford.

   A columnist’s objective is to make his readers “think”.  Saunders just makes his readers “mad”.  Regular readers know I “like” Dick Vitale, Dave Glenn, Billy Packer (sort of …), Kit Hoover (just canned from Cold Pizza), and I even defend The Dickster (some times).  So when I say I don’t care for this jerk you know I mean it.    

   His recent attack on the NC State fan base was off-base and needless.  Be aware that he enjoys getting obscene angry letters from incensed readers.  Don’t flatter this guy.  He’s not worth it. Sic that battery-throwing Trinity Road cretin on Barry … they deserve each other.

   Fans’ active participation in games can be rather easily curtailed by “profiling” (YIKES!).  90% of outrageous fan behavior at college games emanates from student sections, always has and always will.  Student perceive (incorrectly) that they have some divine right to make flaming jackasses of themselves when congregated in an anonymous congealed mass. 

   Students sections are easily identified and it is easy to distribute reminders of acceptable game conduct.  Placing uniformed security in those sections to nip unacceptable behavior “in the bud” will do just that.  “Uniformed security” is not fellow students wearing day-glo USHER vests.  Loud is Good … Loud is Encouraged.  Cheering is Good … Cheering is Encouraged.  Obscenities and personal attacks at players and coaches is Not Good.  The use of video technology identified the miscreants in the Ron Artest incident.  Aim video cameras at the student sections and that battery throwing cretin in the RBC Center will finally be IDed.

   College students (AND Faculty at “some” schools) whine about ANY administrative limits on their behavior.  They view “college” as their time to be profane, obnoxious, and outrageous and to some degree they are correct.  Insane asylums let inmates “be Napoleon” too but issue them rubber swords.  Any administrative policy labeled “unfair” by students is no doubt long over-due and should be made LAW immediately. Students do not run colleges.  Silly bubble-headed Chancellors and faculty squirrels run colleges. 


Swagger’s Stumper

Jim Rockford and Martin Riggs both lived in

what type of “residence”?


   Remember our recent comments about ESPN’s Cold Pizza?  Well “Wonder Boy” Mark Shapiro just canned Kit and Thea.  He replaced them w/ Dana Jacobson who has a bit of Laurie Dhue massiveness to her.  The new format will apparently feature lots of Woody Paige vs Skip Bayless rant-athons … more screaming media dudes … how original!

   Movies w/ Two Governors = Running Man and Predator both with Arnold and Jesse Ventura.  John in Wilmington says Jesse was also in the Batman movie where Arnold was Mr Freeze.  John is a trivia Grand Master so its likely true.

   Court awards Slick Rick Neuheisal $4,500,000 in his suit against NCAA and UW.  Perfect timing for football’s “Eddie Haskell” with NCAA bracket pools just 5 days away. 

   At Rick’s earlier crime scene Boulder Colorado the sewage back-up has hit 100 year flood level.  Between the Ramseys, Ward Churchill, and The Barnett Gang the town motto should be “Pretty Scenery and Pretty Scummy People”. 

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