Random Thoughts on “A” Classic

NCAA Finals
BobLee
April05/ 2016

It was “A” Classic ….. not necessarily “THE” Classic.   In the wake of every Classic there is a tendency to declare it THE Classic.   National Championship games should be Classics.  This one was…. others have been, and others will be.

The final few seconds were High Drama.   Exactly how a National Championship “for all the marbles” should be.

I thought of UNC Baseball’s first trip to Omaha in the modern era – 2006 – and a heart-breaking Championship loss to OregoGod Cheersn State on a fluke play…. and my comment at that time – “God Loves Beavers Too”.   ….. Obviously “God Loves Wildcats Too….”  ….. I’m not so sure God loves Tar Heels these days for a whole host of well-documented reasons both sports and otherwise.

Before “God” was formally declared politically incorrect in America (especially on college campuses) every fan base felt He was “on their side” and would guide their destiny.   I think Villanova is still very Catholic so maybe He was a Wildcat on this night ?

“every buzzer-beater beats somebody….”

Hard to say who was more excited as the confetti reigned down at the buzzer ….. Villanova fans…. or ABCers.   My Twitter feed indicated the latter but I don’t “follow” anyone connected to Villanova.   If ‘Nova faithful were as happy as the ABC gang then Euphoria Reigns in The City of Brotherly Love, Cheesesteaks, Rocky, and The Liberty Bell.

Because of “Roy Being Roy” and TGU in general, there was a consensus of national sportswriters and cultural pundits that Villanova would be the sentimental choice – a/k/a “the good guys” versus “the serial cheaters”.   If that was indeed the case, and I expect it was, then the average casual fan in fly-over America who has no clue where Villanova is is happy…. and now ready to watch The Masters and Baseball.

As I noted a week or so ago, as I started paying closer attention to this UNC team over the past month, I grew to like “the players”.   They (the players) all seem like “good kids” and I like “good kids”.  The Villanova players seem like “good kids” too.  That neither roster featured “One & Dones” was, IMO, “a very good thing”.   Villanova was led by a “gym rat” white kid who appears to be a “throwback” to a bygonPaige Shote era.  I liked that.

The hovering stench of TGU notwithstanding, both Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson and their mates were, for me, easy to “pull for”.  I’m glad it was Marcus Paige that led the dramatic comeback in the final minute.  Will his OMG off-balance “3” be lost and forgotten byLost what happened next?  Sports is very cruel that way.   Sports is very cruel in a lot of ways…..

Thrill of Victory ….. Agony of Defeat.   In order for there to be a Winner there has to be a Loser.   To fully appreciate “being the victor” one must look over at “the vanquished” and realize “there but for Fortune / Fate go I”.   Heart-broken college kids and goggle-eyed spittle-spewing board monkeys are incapable of such insight.  They prefer to blame referees and all sorts of other ridiculous excuses to mask the reality of “we just got beat”.   College kids hopefully grow out of such immaturity.  Board monkeys will not…. they are doomed to roast for eternity in the Third Level of Hell.

It’s no secret (duh!) that I find Roy Williams to be insufferable and as delusional and unsympathetic as I find the average beady-eyed Carolina Way Holocaust-denier.   The combo of Insufferable Roy, TGU, and the Holocaust-deniers is the #1 Reason I was able to watch this game with no emotional attachment to either team.   I am, however, grateful for the juicy column fodder that both Roy and TGU have provided me.

No, I was NOT “hoping UNC would lose”…. I simply didn’t care if they did.   The litmus test that my lingering estrangement from my Alma Mater is complete.

I don’t know much about Philadelphia.  I once had to drive across the Walt Whitman Bridge at rush hour in a driving rainstorm.  That left me with a negative opinion of “Philly”.  I know Villanova is one of the 4-5 basketball-playing schools in/around Philadelphia but I have no visual concept of “it”.   I’ve never known anyone who went there.

Urban private schools “in the Northeast” are a genre I don’t know much about.   I don’t read about Villanova students doing the “stoopid whiney snowflake crap” we always read about going on at UNC and Duke.   Actually we don’t read about “that” happening at NC State either.   Watch for an upcoming incredibly insightful column about “that fact”.   I prefer colleges that are run by “responsible adults” and not by whiney snot-nosed junior anarchists and ideologues.  I digress…..Jay Wright

Jay Wright seems to be a very fine fellow who has been loyal to his employer and they to him.   I’m sure Villanova’s rival fans hate him and spew all sorts of nasty crap about him …. yawn.  I’m sure he is now on “the short list” for every “sleeping giant” who has grown tired of their current coach…. and of every NBA team not named Golden State.  Jay Wright obviously is a very fine BB coach who knows the “type of kid” that he wants for his system…. and that system has been consistently successful for quite some time.   I hope Jay Wright really is as “good a guy” as he seems to be.   Being on a stage with Roy, it’s easy to come across as “the likable one”.

Winners tell jokes… have parades and get rings…..
Losers blame refs… piss and moan and claim “we wuz robbed”.

What’s next?   I haven’t seen that Roy did/said anything “Roy-ic” after the game. Hopefully we will all be spared any more “Roy” for awhile.   Yes…. I CAN come up with column material if that is the case.

ForTheRecord:  Marcus Paige handled his “after a heart-breaking loss” press conference A WHOLE BETTER than CAM did.  I’m just sayin’.

The hovering stench of TGU continues to hover…. and hover….. and hover.   Maybe it will be resolved “soon” but I don’t think so.

It WAS “A Classic”.  Not The Classic, but A Classic nonetheless.   I like “Classics”.

As good as Game Six of the 2011 World Series?….. not quite, but “on the short list”.

###

Don’t Miss Art Chansky’s Thoughts too …. LINK!

BobLee

58
Leave a Reply

avatar
24 Comment threads
34 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
BobLeeZebramanDr.VinnyboombatzNCSU68GradDoug Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Zebraman
Guest
Zebraman

Hey, Bob!

Checking in a bit late. I confess to being an ABC-er of sorts. But, I liked the three UNC senior kids. Still, it was no accident that UNC lost. Coaches need to learn to guard the guy inbounding the ball. He’s the guy who bites you. I could give numerous examples (Calhoun, Pitino…..and now Ol’ Roy’s in the club). Helluva year. On to baseball !

NCSU68Grad
Guest
NCSU68Grad

I had tried to post a comment from a UNC Health Care office early Tuesday AM. Grief Counselors were making their rounds. Fortunately my physicians were not of the true blue mold and focused on me and solved a few problems. So, ALL in UNC land is not corrupt. As to the game, it was a great game. One can debate the place on the Greatest List. My thoughts as the game progressed were that JW was at his best and RW was being out coached. JW (strategy….implemented by team) avoided the Shock and Awe of the last 5 minutes… Read more »

Trans Plant
Guest
Trans Plant

The greatest shot never to be seen again is the double pump tie maker. My wife has only seen the mascot getting clocked. So that is what I predict your grandkids will be watching 20 years from now.

GWC
Guest
GWC

For Final Four classics readers might go to http://www.bleacherreport.com and look at their 25 best NCAA finals for comparisons with last night . Most are very close games , buzzer beaters , OT’s and includes 1958 Kentucky over Temple by 1 , 1946 UNC over Ohio State in OT , Houston over Virginia by 2 in 1884 , UCONN beating Duke by 1 in 2004 , Marquette over UNCC in 1977 by 2 , Kentucky over Duke in 1966 and so on . Since there is no lid on the number of classics let’s just call last night a classic… Read more »

Porgie
Guest
Porgie

Only was able to view the last14-15 minutes of the game with no audio as we were in a venue with music playing. Several years ago (1989), an editorial carton appeared in the Charlotte paper with the caption “The signs of Spring – birds are chirping, trees are budding, flowers are blooming, Tar Heels are choking”. But even I would say that was NOT a choke job last night, just a great end to a great game. However, what did not end was the over glorification of UNC-CH by TBS in wrapping up the game coverage. In my opinion, the… Read more »

Steve Ogburn
Guest
Steve Ogburn

I only see where you can “like” your columns but not “dislike”. You should add that button too. I have grown tired of your constant negative Roy and UNC comments and quite honestly tired of you- I’m done.

GWC
Guest
GWC

I agree this game was a terrific game but not sure it’s “a” classic . Am personally certain it’s not THE Classic . Very few contests should readily be labeled “classic” because classics have to stand the test of time for comparative purposes . That 1957 triple overtime UNC victory over Wilt and Phog Allen country is clearly “a” classic and might get the nod by many of us as THE Classic NCAA basketball championship . The semi-final that same tourney over Michigan St. went three OT’s as well and that so-rare scenario repeating itself in the finals simply added… Read more »

Doug
Guest
Doug

I agree with GWC, NCSU-Maryland still remains the most compelling game in my lifetime. Two great teams with a lot to gain or lose. I Was 6 during the 57 “classic” and didn’t see the game live but a week or so later my elementary school herded us into the auditorium and the game was shown to us, complete with Coke commercials. Was this the beginning of the massTCW indoctrination? Anyhoo, my age 6 scouting report to my friends was Kansas should have passed the ball into that very, very tall dark man every time and he could have scored… Read more »

inkstainedscribe
Guest
inkstainedscribe

BL, part of me wondered if Ol’ Roy would drop the mic and leave the stage if his boys had won last night. TGU? Dadgum it, I’ve got golf to play and knees to be replaced. We may never know. Like players, I think officials can have off nights, too. They missed some on both sides, but in the end, as they say, you have to put the ball in the basket to win and Roy’s Boys didn’t do that often enough. We may be seeing Mr. Paige wearing a suit and sitting near the scorer’s table’s end of the… Read more »

GWC
Guest
GWC

God’s favorite Bond girl ? Point about God not picking favorites in ballgames or trenches might suggest He/She takes no sides on Eastern or Western BBQ , Marilyn , Jane or Brigitte , Kinston or Wilson , Turk or Kurd , Donald or Ted , scotch or bourbon , “K” or CRW and that , Classic or not , that was a good , tough , strong “D” , reasonably called GAME that meant the world to the participants but should be accepted purely as entertainment and the outcome nothing truly VITAL to the rest of us . Maybe I… Read more »

JDanWuff
Guest
JDanWuff

Blaming the refs is the right of all losers, losers being rightly defined as passionate fans, board monkeys and kool aid drinkers. The game was a classic, emphasis on “a”.
Roy is a jerk IMO, but I am the opposition, and the Son of Satan at Dook is a jerk, too.
The players have nothing to be ashamed of. They played a great game on both sides. The game will be recalled for years as a great game.
Remember, I have a good place for you to hide if you need to go off the grid. ?

Ted-From-Wilm
Guest
Ted-From-Wilm

If it helps in balancing… I was attracted to this website BECAUSE BobLee is NOT a typical Carolina Way jackass / apologist. I have been on-board for at least four years (after The Tweet). “NailGun” has been reading since 2003 and JUST noticed that BL is NOT a RahRah UNC guy ??? …. DUH!

DA
Guest
DA

I just recently started enjoying your columns through exposure on Carolina Plott Hound. In reading your most recent article, I see a reference to “TGU”. I read back through some of your archives to find out what that refers to but haven’t had any luck…….could you tell me what that acronym and ABCers stand for?

RC
Guest
RC

I am not a UNC Grad and have no other affiliation to the school other than I am a native “Tarheel” North Carolinian. I became a fan in my teens about the time Dean Smith arrived. I have been a dedicated fan since that time. I have never been on a message board so I’m not one of his “slobbering board monkeys”. I was drawn to Bob Lee Swagger because of his obvious affection for all things “Carolina”. This was back far enough that if you “signed on” you got a free autographed copy of Braggin’ Rites in 2003, which… Read more »

58 wolf kennel
Guest
58 wolf kennel

Knowing much of your background, a “classic” blog as well. I actually pulled for and felt the loss for the Carolina players, even jumped out of my chair when the double clutch three tied the game. Pulled for the win !!
Of course wondering whether God would even things up through the NCAA in May and SACS in June.
Also remembering that this same Nova team is 8-1 the last two years in the NCAA tourney ( with only loss to the Wolfpack :+))
The game itself, however, was indeed a true “classic”.

Thuaidh Cearuilin
Guest
Thuaidh Cearuilin

Oddly enough there’s a support group down in Houston for just this kind of thing. It’s at the Guy Lewis “WTF Just Happened” Wellness Center. They have councillors standing by.

dumpthencaa
Guest
dumpthencaa

Great column, as usual. I guess all the police and stand-by reinforcements on Franklin Street got to go home early last night. A lot of clean-up money was saved by that loss. Now that the “Classic” is behind us, we can go back to wondering how much longer it will be before the NCAA slaps the heels on the wrist.

BullCityBeth
Guest
BullCityBeth

My 8 year old little boy was heartbroken last night and still this morning. I reminded him that he has baseball practice this evening, his face lit up and he said, “Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s Tuesday.” (I’m hoping this is a sign that he will not grow up to be one of the loony board monkeys!!)

JD
Guest
JD

I hate people that blame the refs but today I am blaming the refs. So I now hate myself too. I don’t care if they make lousy calls just make lousy calls on both ends of the court. Is that so much to ask for?

dumpthencaa
Guest
dumpthencaa

As an outsider looking in, I thought the officiating was pretty good. I saw a few questionable calls… at both ends… but no outright “blown” calls… at either end. The heels have been given the “benefit-of-the-doubt” on more than their share of calls over the years. Now is not the time to be complaining about the officiating. That’s what poor losers do.

Lakepacker
Guest
Lakepacker

I got to watch this game from a different perspective. I am in a foreign country and watched the game with foreign language commentators with a Carolina grad. We both thought it was an excellent game with the two best teams in the NCAA this year and seemingly positive role models. It was interesting to look at social media after the game and see the comments about officiating. With no “commentary” that we could understand from announcers, we did not have those opinions or tendencies. There were good and bad calls on both sides, but as you say, a “classic”… Read more »

GWC
Guest
GWC

Am pretty sure God takes no “sides” in ball games as He/She surely took no “sides” in WW I with French praying to Him from the western-most trenches and Germans praying to Him from the eastern-most trenches , and with nine million deaths across Europe the result of “entangling alliances” among allies and monarchical marital arrangements . Just a stark reminder that this Classic ballgame was not the end of the world for UNC fans nor Salvation for Villanova fans and ABC’ers . The only Villanova grads I’ve ever known were in my USMC company at Quantico and they were… Read more »

ncsu1987
Guest
ncsu1987

Nice column, as always. Fear not, Roy and co. will provide a bounty of fodder as then TGU denouement begins. This was easily the most likable UNC team in a long, long time. Marcus Paige was an amazing college student athlete (and I mean that, in every sense of the word) that any University would give much to have represent them. I actually wondered last night if you would comment on the “THE classic” rhetoric from last night. It’s funny to me that all the young national journalists seem to be in lock-step with this opinion. Almost like they somehow… Read more »

fayettewuf
Guest
fayettewuf

I went to bed convinced that either Nova would drop off Johnson and guard the 3 point shooters and Johnson would light them up or that the 3 point guys would continue to play horse. I do not dislike the UNC players so I have a minimum feeling of schadenfreude. I am sure they take no comfort in the fact that they achieved more than 99.9% of the D-1 college teams. When a team that probably will send more to the pros loses, the question arises about coaching. Bet Roy would love responding to that question.

Doug
Guest
Doug

Why does the hurt seem to hurt longer than the feel good feels? Maybe Coach can explain.