Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Notes On a Championship

In case you missed it or have been living in a cave, in last night's NCAA basketball championship game my beloved UNC Tar Heels laid down an old-fasioned stomping on the Spartans of Michigan State, who were everyones' favorite plucky underdogs. Hey, it's like the man said, the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to place your bets.

There's already been a lot written about the game, so I'll keep my observations brief:

*This is not the Tar Heel team I grew up watching. UNC's M.O. for years has been: pull out to a lead early on, piss it away in the first part of the second half, then struggle heroically back and maybe pull off a heart stopping win in the last few seconds, or maybe not. I went through the last two weeks thinking "this can't be this easy. UNC doesn't get things this easily. Something terrible is about to happen." But nope, these guys just leveled everything in their way like army ants. You might think that this wouldn't be as much fun to watch as the old way. You'd be wrong. I loved watching UNC decisively kick everyone's ass for a change. You can keep your heroic struggles. As an ex-Special Forces guy I knew once observed: "if someone has to be a hero, that means someone else has fucked up big-time."

*On a related subject, I was getting a little annoyed with all the talk about how Michigan really "needed" an MSU win to raise the spirits of that state's people in "their"economic slump. Hey, news flash, folks. We ain't exactly dining off golden plates and farting through silk here in the Tar Heel State. In fact I read that our unemployment rate is only one point lower than Michigan's. So quit acting like Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson killed Santa Claus, okay? Michiganders still have a lot of sports teams to hang their dreams on. They've got an NFL team...okay, bad example. How are the Tigers doing this year?

*CBS announcer Clark Kellogg is not quite as idiotic or annoying as Dick Vitale, but he's getting close. I lost count of the number of times we turned to each other and went "what the hell did he just say?" One of the things I found interesting about watching British soccer on cable (something my son turned me on to) is that there will be times when the announcers just don't say anything and let the play develop. American sports announcers act like they have explosive collars around their necks that will explode if they stop talking.



Randy Johnson said...

Congrats to your Heels for an impressive win. From a reluctant Dukie.

Joseph said...

On a related subject, I was getting a little annoyed with all the talk about how Michigan really "needed" an MSU win to raise the spirits of that state's people in "their"economic slump.

By the exact same logic that the Yankees were required to win the 2001 World Series. That didn't happen, either.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We got nothin' but the Red Wings.

Mark Terry said...

I'm a Michigander and an MSU grad, but I my take it that MSU did better than expected and losing in the finals is a lot better than losing in the first round. I didn't see the final game because I was flying from Orlando to Detroit at the time.

As for the "MSU needs to win because of poor, poor Michigan," well, that's just the media trying to make more of a sporting event than it deserves. In the end it was just a basketball game, right? The game was played in Detroit and it brought in some much needed money (which is merely a band-aid on the local economy, but thanks for bringing your dollars and leaving some of them here anyway), but aside from that, so what?

Congrats on your Tarheels. We'll see you next season!

JD Rhoades said...

And next season, Mark, your guys may take it all. Our guys ain't coming back, even the juniors.