Thursday, April 5, 2012

What the NCAA Championship Game Got Right/Wrong

I'm excited. It's Spring again, which means it's that time of year for growth, rebirth, sunnier days, and applying a complete lack of knowledge about the game of basketball and guessing in such a way that gets me a lot of points on the ESPN Bracket Challenge and manages to frustrate the hell out of my friend, Bryan. Why would Bryan possibly get frustrated? Because he knows things about sports – mystical, magical, statistical, statagical things about sports. He even has a bevy of knowledge about college sports, which is the upper echelon of esoteric sport knowledge. Having in-depth knowledge of college sports is how you really prove your mettle in the world of sports facts. Those who possess it are the types of men’s men who can predict the future of Sportsworld for years to come. Those who lack it are known by the aforementioned types as poseurs who can’t tell the difference between your Tim Tebows and your Peyton Mannings. I, dear readers, fall into this lowly and ignorant second camp.

Man, Peyton Manning looks like a douche. Via Flickr

When it came to be that time of year when March began feeling particularly Mad, Bryan’s annual email plopped into my inbox with the invitation I was so pleased to see. I read the message – nay, the challenge! – telling me to join in Bryan’s group for bracketing enthusiasts. So I got out my Ouija Board. That’s because I don’t know much about sports, absolutely nothing about professional basketball, and actually have negative knowledge on the topic of college “hoops.” That is to say, whenever I even attempt to think about college basketball in any analytical way for longer than five seconds, I start forgetting shit I know about other topics. So, when I prepare my Springtime Lunacy Bracket I use magic that involves animal blood to try to divine the outcome. That, and I like to pick the teams with the prettiest uniforms.

For all these reasons and more, I knew that Kentucky would be triumphant and take it all. Even so, I was compelled to watch the Championship Game this year (no, I don’t know why). What I found was a mixed bag. Plenty of things I liked and disliked pummeled my senses. But it wasn’t a complete shit show. Like I said, the uniforms were all very pretty. Anyway, what follows is a brief but accurate survey of what this year’s NCAA Championship Game got right, and what it got wrong.

WRONG!  Ah man. It's a ten minutes before the start of the game. We haven’t even gotten to tip off, but the loser can already be called: it's the American people since The Fray just raped the National Anthem. There were so many off-notes in their piss-poor guitar noodling. I mean, just god-awful dissonant strumming. And the timing of the melody was all off for the vocals. And what was up with their harmonizing? They sped up, they slowed down, they seemed like they nearly forgot a bit of the song but barely pulled it back together, then they sped up and slowed down again. I almost crapped myself that was so bad.

RIGHT! Somehow, the NCAA Championship Game is more popular than the NBA Championship Game. Whoa, hey! Don’t get too pissed at me for saying that, Guy Who Actually Pays Attention To Sports And Disagrees With Me. If anything, I’m more qualified to lob this claim than legitimate basketball fans because I don’t like or care about either championship game. I’m neutral and can make those judgment calls without the bias that comes with preferring one over the other when it comes to professional versus college ball.

No one really cares about the NBA because all the players are spoiled egomaniacs. And also because basketball is less entertaining than football. College basketball is different though because the players are young, but they haven’t been turned into greedy babies yet, so they still play hard. Either way, I love that they NCAA gets more attention than the NBA when it comes to playoffs exposure. They get a whole frickin month of high-profile coverage. We even get Youtube videos of the President filling out a bracket for the tournament. That, in itself, is a spectacle for America to watch. What the hell’s up with that?

You’re so plucky and popular, March Madness! All I can say is “You go, girlfriend!”

Less of a spoiled baby than anyone in the NBA. Via Altblogs

WRONG! The lack of finesse. Part of what makes sports compelling to fat and greasy people like myself is not only that these athletes can accomplish the physical feats they do, but that they also look good doing it. They are supposed to be majestic and graceful in their strength and tenacity.

Watching college basketball is like watching seventeen year olds having sex for the second time. Why “the second time” specifically, you ask? Because they clearly have an idea of what they’re supposed to be doing by this point, but it’s still all elbows and knobby knees bouncing off each other. They have some skills, a few decent techniques, and proven plays, but it’s still awkward as hell in the execution. And it hurts a little. Oh, and I guess you could insert some joke here about the low scoring.

RIGHT! This thing goes so fast. I mean, play lasted from 6:30 to 8:30 (that’s West Coast time, mother fuckers). Even with the annoying pregame hype-o-machine program they put on, this thing did not drag out the way many sports events do. If they can’t make it as fun to watch as football, at least it’s not drawn out as much.

RIGHT! Regular readers of my posts here at Robot Hooker Party (*crickets chirping*) will know that I’m obsessed with rhetoric and breaking down communication in pop culture, and one thing the NCAA Championship Game got right was the language. I love that basketball players/fans/announcers have not reduced the frequency with which they use the word “rim” or how many times they yell the phrase “going to the hole!” Despite the prevalence of the internet and no shortage of twats making jokes trying to prove they’re clever (uh…), basketball keeps using this language.

Oooh yeah, that's a nice hole. With a beautiful rim. Go to it. Via cehwiedel

You might think that this should count as a negative because it causes knuckleheads like me to giggle with childish immaturity, but trust me, it’s the best. Anytime I watch basketball there’s never a shortage of homoerotic dialogue occurring between the commentators. “Mmm, Charles Barkley, tell me more about the rim, please, I’m begging you.” This is just like the only reason I like NASCAR is because they talk about that driver, Dick Trickle. As long as we have that name in that sport, I swear I don’t even care about the fiery crashes.

Wrong! The squeaky sound! I know why this sound exists, okay. You’ve got feet and rubber coming into contact with well-polished wood (See! This sport is so gay-sexy-pants it’s amazing!), but whatever the cause that noise is totally not cool, guys. Isn’t this college? Make some physics nerd fix this problem immediately. These basketball giants need to threaten to haze every nerd they know until he/she submits to their athletic superiority and rids the world of the squeaky sound in this sport once and for all.

So there you have it, NCAA National Championship Committee. You have eleven months to solve these pressing issues and capitalize on your successes. I’m sure you’ll read this and take every word I have to say under serious advisement.

Disclaimer: This article is satirical and stupid. On my bracket I had the Final Four listed as Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado State.

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