Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

The April March Madness

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   My editor suggested that I write a column about the recent basketball tournament affectionately known as “March Madness” which ends in April. Editor suggestions carry the force of law.

   It has been a long time since I have followed basketball. Back then there were four, 15-minute quarters. The ball was an inflated mastodon bladder and the goals were hollowed out tree trunks. Things have changed dramatically.

   Now there are only two 20-minute halves, thereby cutting the boredom by 20 minutes. The ball appears to be a zebra bladder and the goal is a wire hoop with a net suspended from it. The purpose of the net evades me, but according to the announcers it has something to do with a ‘swish’. (Insert your favorite cross-dressing, basketball player joke here.)

   Back then a guy who was 6’3” tall was considered to be a big. Now he is a shrimp in comparison to the other fellows who are seven-footers plus. The players are sporting ink sleeves and are wearing shorts that go below the knee. But, some things haven’t changed.

   They still spend a great deal of time playing keep-away. The foul calling procedures continue to be confusing. The slightest little tap will draw a whistle.

   I was weaned on South Eastern Conference football. I’ve been a fan since before I could spell SEC. In other conferences if a player gets his helmet knocked off the announcers say, “Tough hit.”  In the SEC a guy’s cleats have to be knocked off to get the same opprobrium. 

   These little love taps that are called fouls interfere with play. If a guy is writhing on the floor in pain or is rendered unconsciousness that deserves a call. Other than that, let the game continue. How is it possible to hurt some dude that is 7’1” and weighs 350 lbs. without vigorously using a large, blunt object multiple times?

   There also seems to be an excess of quaint naming going on. The powers that be name each round of play with a catch phrase. “The Dirty Thirty-Two, the Slovenly Sixteen, the Effete Eight, the Fab Four, the Terrible Twos” leaving us with the winner, “the Wobbly One.”

    I was hoping for at least some decent commercials during the breaks. Something in the Super Bowl class of ads. The best I saw were a few lame attempts by Coca Cola at guarding their secret formula that can be found on the label. There are ads which consisted of some poor sucker getting soaked when ordering a fish sandwich, plus the usual roll-your-own car dealership ads. Not the stuff of legends.

   One thing I am thankful for is that the tournament is a single elimination contest. One loss and you are out. If it was a double elimination tourney the 2009 winner would be decided in 2013.

   But not to worry b-ball fans. The second-stringer NIT is on and the NBA tourney is yet to start, an eternity of 10 big guys jumping up and down every 24 seconds. Woof!© 2009, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

April 17, 2009 at 4:42 p04

Posted in Americana

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