On March 19, 1966 in Cole Field House, Willie Cager, “Big Daddy” Lattin, Bobby Joe Hill and their Texas Western Miners’ teammates made college basketball history. If you are old enough to recall the names of Ben Cartwright’s sons, you know how. 49 years later, in much beleaguered Indiana, in yet another “Game for the Ages”; college basketball finds itself in a déjà vue dilemma…. with a Kentucky basketball coach still in the eye of the storm.
Where have I been during this latest mini-hiatus? The past week or so Blondie and I have been unwilling participants in a Center for Disease Control study of the effects of the creeping crud a/k/a “the flu” on a pair of empty-nesters. Blondie was the first to succumb. As her primary care-giver I soon became the afflicted personification of “no good deed goes unpunished”. If you own stock in Kleenex you should be receiving a dividend soon. We have gone thru a ton of it. Any idea what a ton of used Kleenex looks like?
I actually started a few columns over the past week, but after a few paragraphs the lure of a warm bed would inevitably win out. This forced hiatus served to remind me of the awesome power (??) of this website. Somehow those eeeevil Indianians managed to survive the latest manufactured “how dare they” national tsunami without my lending a hand. Somehow most coaches weathered annual demands for their ousterings…. and some didn’t. Rick changed shades of Orange and Shaka finally grabbed his brass ring.
It doesn’t bother me that these endless crises’ de jour can arise and fall without my publicly acknowledging them. Unlike Santa and Christmas, I am not THAT indispensable.
I don’t “hate” John Calipari. Yes, he is smarmy and certainly I know his trail of Sgt Schultz messes. But lots of Big Time Coaches are smarmy and Diogenes would be VERY hard-pressed to find a handful of’em who are not masters of situational ethics. Head ball coaches and politicians…… “They are all crooked….. except OURS of course.”
That pathetic “mea non culpa” drivel that Jim Boeheim delivered a few weeks ago is laminated on a card in 100s of coaches wallets, ready to be muttered thru alligator tears when their turn comes.
If you hate Calipari because he has mastered the art of One & Done then you must hate “Dean” for Four Corners. In both cases, neither coach made the rule, they simply maximized it to their advantage. Dean continued to win when the shot clock was put in. Calipari would likely be successful if there are changes in the early out rule.
Before we get into last night’s One For The Ages, I got to tell you about “erniefromfuquay”.
You may have noticed that I kinda have a thing about the ongoing proliferation of abject stoopidity in society. I don’t decry it. I revel in it. I accept bone-deep dumb as part of The Circle of Life (cue soundtrack from The Lion King).
“Stoopid” is not defined as “any opinion contrary to mine” at all. I am not immune to “stoopid” at all. Periodic cleaning out of our attic or of my clothes closet is a grim reminder of my personal (and ongoing) fits of stoopid.
So, anyhow….. after Roy Two Rings came up short versus Wisconsin, there was the usual ying to that annual yang. Goofy Ol’ Roy doesn’t cut down the nets with “One Bright Shining Moment” on the PA as confetti dumps from the rafters and sure as God made lil’ green apples a gaggle of cross-eyed trolls will slither out of a fetid root cellar demanding Roy’s immediate disembowelment. Ergo….. I present to you – “Ernie”.
You did a doubletake reading that didn’t you? I did the first time I saw it. This goggle-eyed goober thinks “Badour” is still the UNC AD? Forget the misspelling. I’m sure “Ernie” does wonders with Doherty and Guthridge too, along with 73% of TarHeelNation. “Ernie” is so beside his ernieself to tell his cyber pals that Roy’s gotta go; but clueless to rather significant developments in UNC Athletics over the past four years. Ya think “ernie” knows about Marvin’s tweet?
I contemplated for a few moments whether “erniefromfuquay” might have a suggestion for resolving the Middle East Crisis….. or know a good mutual fund or the whereabouts of Amelia Earnhart….. or who put the bop in the bop shu bop? That led to natural curiosity over whether erniefromfuquay votes and/or breeds.
Sure, I know “ernie” has cuzzins in every fan base. I’m thinking we just put a name to the species known as “Wal-Mart fan”.
No one knows what the future holds for Roy. Sooner or later something or nothing is gonna happen as regards the NCAA and a hammer. If it is “a something” Roy will tearfully deliver his version of Boeheim’s mea non culpa and who knows what happens then. I bet “ernie” is not going to be happy regardless.
With about five minutes to go last night in the One For The Ages (OFTA), Blondie who had been hootin’ and hollerin’ with each basket, calmly declared “I’m going to bed. Let me know who wins.” WHAT!
Of the bazillions of people watching OFTA across the planet, I’m betting Blondie is the only one to calmly walk out on that game with five minutes to go. She had become a Wiscy fan a week or so ago for the same reason a lot of casual fans did…. and it had nothing to do with Ashley Judd.
Did old-school Bo beating smarmy Cal “save Big Time College Basketball”? No, the issues with Big Time College Basketball are bigger than one game. That game 49 years ago in Cole Field House had a far more dramatic effect than last night’s results will.
100s of Cal and Bo and Roy and Mike wannabees are not going to suddenly start beating the bushes for “tall white boys with game AND who stay in school”. The AAU sleazeballs (and other sinister forces) won’t let that happen. Besides there just are not that many Tylers, Plumlees, Kaminskys and Dekkers.
Coaches like crusty ol’ Bo Ryan and Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Notre Dame’s Mike Brey will recruit how that have always recruited and the other 98% will do as they do.
On The Biggest Stage of The Final Four that “500 lb It on the court” will be noticed and reported about as it has been already. Most of the reporting will be cynical and coaches like Bo and Mark and Mike will be criticized and called names. ….. sigh.
Back in 1966 a lot of people were NOT happy that Texas Western won. In 2015, a lot of people won’t be happy that Wisconsin won. The more things change, the more they stay the same….. whattayaknow ???
The clock hit 00:00 in One For The Ages, I screamed ON WISCONSIN – BADGERS WIN!
….. from way down the hall I heard a “YIPPEE” from behind the bedroom door.