Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Who to hate

One of my many passionate loves is for my beloved Kansas Jayhawks. Odd (some might think) since I never went to the school. But...I think you have to grow up in Kansas...a state that has nothing else going for it and is the butt of so many jokes... I think that's the only way to understand it. Basketball is king in Kansas...high school and college. There's no pro team, so the closest you come is the Hawks...and best of all...they're one of the elite programs in the United States (certainly a member of the "top five" men's programs...Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA, and Kansas...if you rank the teams based on historical wins, KU comes right behind UNC and Kentucky, for the record). Like other native Kansans and expats across 'Jayhawk Nation,' come Friday...I'll live and die by the performance of young men playing a game. Some can't understand it...they just follow the tournament for the brackets they fill out at work. But for actually does matter who wins and who loses., I'm bored tonight and tired of packing things, so I start browsing the net on Slate. These days, I usually find almost nothing to read there. I used to read it regularly, but...they've become much too moderate for my personal tastes...downright conservative and 'holier than thou' at times. But once in awhile...there's something great...'s their guide to the most loathsome programs in this year's tourney...and it's some of the most funny and delightfully spiteful and bitter stuff I've read there in years... I loved it. :)

Amongst some of the gems...

Re: Duke, Josh Levin writes:
Led by sore-losing, ref-haranguing coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke has long been a hotbed of whininess, but junior J.J. Redick is the first Blue Devil to publicly elevate it to an art form. In recent profiles in Sports Illustrated, on ESPN, and probably in Cat Fancy, the whey-faced shooting guard revealed that when abuse from opposing fans becomes too heavy, he escapes by composing verse. "No bandage can cover my scars/ It's hard living a life behind invisible bars," he writes in one tear-stained stanza.
Re: Kentucky, Robert Weintraub adds:
But all that's only mildly nauseating compared to the most repulsive part of UK basketball: Ashley Judd, superfan. It's one thing for celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee to flaunt their wealth courtside during a pro game. But watching the aging ingénue don pigtails to prove she can relate to the commoners of the commonwealth is just sad. First, she punishes us with dreck like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Now, she pollutes UK telecasts because TV directors can't resist endless cutaways of Wynonna's sister. Yeah, yeah, she knows her basketball. She also dated Michael Bolton. Let's not go nuts glorifying her critical reasoning skills.
(hear, hear...says I)

But best of all (you knew this was coming...admit it...)...Chris Sullentrop's diatribe against North which I say...AMEN!
Watching Roy Williams lead North Carolina to a national championship after he tortured my beloved Kansas Jayhawks for 15 seasons would ruin my favorite time of the year. I watched Roy cry when he lost in the second round as a No. 1 seed to UTEP and to Rhode Island. I watched him cry when he lost, five times, to the eventual NCAA champion. I watched him cry when he went home to coach his alma mater. I don't want to watch him cry as he cuts down the nets for the first time with somebody else. Instead, I'd like to watch him cry as he does something else he's never done in his coaching career: Lose in the first round. Cry, Roy, cry, in shame and humiliation, as your team is felled by the 13-18 Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

If Roy and the Tar Heels do make a title run, I hope they meet Eddie Sutton and Oklahoma State in the championship game. It would be a matchup of the Marty Schottenheimer and Chuck Knox of college hoops—a Thunderdome battle to determine the Best Coach Without a Title. At tip-off, Sutton and Williams would be tied with 40 tournament wins and no championships. And when the buzzer sounds, Roy will be alone, the Winningest Loser of them all.
Rock chalk Jayhawk KU! :)


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