Tuesday, March 14, 2006

So NOT Gellin'

When looking at the Bracketology Worksheet which is the NCAA b-ball tournament pairings, many Americans (the intelligent ones, anyway) are reminded of what I said years ago:
“A playoff format, like democracy, simply does not work!”
That’s why God invented bowl games.
The Carquest Bowl doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? The galleryfurniture.com Bowl has real merit, agreed?

Just for fun – and in the interest of science -- I printed out roughly 10 copies of the brackets and I slightly crumpled the sheets of paper and threw them on the floor for the golden retriever nicknamed “SuperDog” (look … “The Bus” simply isn’t an adequate doggie name) to rip up (because, like lesser-super dogs, SuperDog likes the sound/feel of tearing up crumpled paper).
When he neared completion of the exercise, I asked him, “Hey, didja find the Cincinnati Bearcats in there? How ‘bout the Maryland Terrapins?”
SuperDog responded by grabbing his squeaky squirrel.

SuperDog came up empty, kinda like The UC and The Turtle – entities which were initially outraged at being The Snub du Jour.
Now that the outrage and contempt has ebbed during this proverbial “cooling off” period, America can take a step back and realize that, yeah … those teams kinda sucked, anyway, so it’s no big loss in the best-laid plans of bracketeering.

I mean, if you want “unfair,” rewind to a month ago when that tan-and-white bull terrier named Rufus defeated that spectacularly-handsome golden retriever named Andy to take Best in Show honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden (yup, that occurred only a month before two mutts, G-Mac and DevenDORK, and their Sorrycuse kennel crew wooed the MSG audience … Boeheim = “the handler”).

To parallel fairness with real current events, we need to address the continued exclusion of Deep Purple and Van Halen from the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame as another induction ceremony took place (last night).
A ceremony without Deep Purple and Van Halen ...

This isn’t about No. 5 seeds vs. No. 12 seeds and sub-regionals and Sweet Sixteens, people.
We’re talking immortality.
The Sex Pistols? Sure, we all loved “Never Mind The Bollocks,” but that was one album, folks. Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten were P.T.P.’ers (prime-time punkers), but enshrining them is a little like electing Dick Vitale to a Hall of Fame.
(ALERT! T-minus 17 days ‘til the mediocrity that is Vitale’s chrome dome is chiseled into the Mount Rushmore of legendary announcers)

So, yeah, like a lot of Americans, I definitely wish that there was some way that I could personally right the wrong and correct the oversight which kept Cinshitnati out of the tourney.
The aspect of Cinshitnati b-ball which I found so appealing was any time they played on ESPN, the Worldwide Leader saw fit to put the tiny scoreboard in the lower right corner of me screen and refer to the Bearcats as “UC.”
If the Bearcraps were playing Lousyville, my tiny TV scoreboard read: “L’VILLE” … “UC.”

Question: Was that something engineered by Nick Van Exel or Kenyon Martin – or was it a special tribute to The Ghost of Coach Hug?
Or is ESPN actually mocking the Ghost of Coach Hug?
I’m guessing that this is Cinshitnati’s roundball push to be more like MNF with those amusing introductions wherein we meet the players who tell us their names and their colleges.
Only ex-Miami guys threaten me with (wait for it) … “The U.”
For real.

From a standpoint of practicality, you CAN’T have on your tiny TV scoreboard the letters “CIN” for the very simple fact that The Ghost of Coach Hug might think that America would confuse his perennial Final Four team with Cinnabon.
That is, unless The Ghost of Coach Hug had nothing to do with this and if it is actually ESPN mocking the Ghost of Coach Hug and his squeaky-clean, perennial Final Four program.
(Mini-alert: My first college sweetheart was a Cyn who I never shared a Cinnabon with at a Cinshitnati basketball. Yep … back in the days when I was matriculating at a U which wasn’t necessarily The U)

Enough about The ‘Nati fulfilling its needs by logging onto e-Harmony.com and consulting with Dr. Phil re: a tournament that suits the Bearcraps’ tournament needs.
Maybe something in a round-robin, double-elimination format?
The case of Gary Williams and his UM Turtle squad, well … that’s a heartbreaker.
The NCAA deprived b-ball-loving Americans the chance to see what the Turtle does best: Turn the ball over.
They must’ve had at least 10 games this year with 20 or more turnovers, which is no mean feat.
Twice the Terps won with turnover totals of 26 and 23.
The Turtle committed 29 turnovers in the first loss to Duke.

Now, stuck in the NIT, The UM has no other option but to toss non-crisp passes into traffic and to step on the baseline and to dribble balls off their feet as a means to offsetting the opponent shooting between 23 and 28 percent from beyond the arc.
Some problem, eh?
How will the wolf survive?

It’s like this: If ya want fairness, wave your hand overhead and call for the fair catch.
“Unfair” was what happened on Selection Sunday, all right – that is, what happened to Japan in Round 2 of the WBC at Michael Eisner Stadium.
ESPN’s Buck Martinez had no right playing jingoistic puppeteer and getting that appeal ruling to wipe out Japan’s go-ahead run.

I was watching that scene unfold and, while Sadaharu Oh was beefing with home plate ump Bob Davidson, I was able to read the lips of a few Japanese players in the dugout.
Although my Japanese isn’t what it once was (like when I watched the videotape for Mr. Sparkle dish detergent with Homer and learned about “Join me or die. Can you do any less?”), I determined that one player said to another, “We’re getting dicked worse than the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.”

The odd part about Oh conversing with Davidson was that a translator was intervening. The chap must’ve had his hands full in a situation like that. I guess we can all be thankful that the interpreter didn’t take Davidson’s words and twist ‘em into something like, “Sweet Enola Gay, are you are a poor sport or what?”

Japan’s gonna get the last laugh there … and I’ll explain how (wait a sec, okay?).

Y'see, when it comes to injustices in SoCal, I’ve noticed that USC didn’t get a berth in The Big Dance.
‘SC went 24-2 was ranked No. 5 and its only two losses were to UCLA, winners of six of the past seven national championships.
HOLD THE PHONE! Who passed me the 1971 NCAA bracket when I wasn’t looking?
Oh well, if you grew up with a USC backcourt of Biff Burrell and Don Carfino playing in an arena near you, well … maybe things would be different.

Anyway, that which governs least, governs best ...

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