Morning Five: 11.17.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on November 17th, 2010
- Wow. We know of quite a few writers, bloggers, television personalities, gadflies and ne’er-do-wells who are hurting in a big way this morning. After a 24 Hours of Hoops Marathon that once again did not fail to disappoint, the hangover is here. We’re guessing that #cbb on Twitter won’t be this quiet again until sometime in May, as everyone around the country comes off their hoops-gasm and starts calculating the actuarial ratios of all-nighters to lost months of life. Still, seeing all the different schools and fans and courts and cheerleaders and announcers and studio hosts and analysts around the country all day yesterday was pretty awesome, wouldn’t you agree? As much as we’ve ripped apart the opening week’s haphazard trickle-out of games, this made-for-television event is brilliant and is quickly becoming one of the best regular season must-sees that the sport has to offer. God help us all during the random future year when the 24HoH mimics a day of the NCAA Tournament and 75% of the games come down to the last possession — the WWL suits had better already have ESPN Legal working on its tort defenses. Oh, and our guy John Stevens? Over 11,000 words and untold hallucinations in 25+ hours of BGTDing, without a single drop of caffeine in his system (perhaps crystal meth, but certainly no coffee/soda).
- The biggest non-ESPN 24HoH news from the day came from Turner Sports, as the cable network announced that it will provide some of its wildly popular NBA on-air talent such as play-by-play announcer Marv Albert and the brash-but-hilarious Charles Barkley as part of its joint coverage of the NCAA Tournament with CBS. The general consensus is that this is going to be a very good thing, and given that we are intimately familiar with the chemistry of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Barkley on Inside the NBA (the best sports show on television by far), we think that they’ll pull it off. Our only reservation — and admittedly, it’s a small one — is that we’ve watched (and listened) in horror to Fox when NFL announcers with their play-on-Sunday focus call college football games during the BCS bowls and it’s obvious they don’t even know or understand the key rule differences between the two sports. We found this experience exceptionally painful. Since none of the Turner channels (TBS, TNT, TruTV) are covering college hoops during the regular season, we’re a little concerned that even knowledgeable folks such as those listed above might have trouble making the transition.
- And this article is why NBA fans are different in many ways from college basketball fans. Mr. Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register: in our sport, it actually IS about the names on the front of the jerseys. Carolina fans will go crazy for their team whether they have a future lottery pick like Harrison Barnes or a four-year guy like Tyler Hansbrough leading the way; Kentucky fans showed as much passion for one-year man John Wall in the blue and white as they did for Tayshaun Prince; Michigan State fans loved consistently-tough guy Charlie Bell as much or more than Zach Randolph. Here’s our suggestion. Get out of the suburban and basketball wasteland known as the OC and high-tail it to a Missouri or K-State game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. While you’re in the Midwest, catch a game at Hinkle before heading over to Rupp for a Louisville or Florida game. Detour down through Tobacco Road and venture into Cameron Indoor Stadium before your soul goes completely cold; then, since you’re on the east coast, head up to the Palestra for an epic Big Five battle. Report back to us afterward if you gave a damn whether you actually knew the names of the players who you were watching — that is, assuming you actually enjoy the sport of basketball and not some bastardized version of star-watching.
- Gary Parrish takes a look at the oft-bizarre world of AP/Coaches poll ballots in his weekly column, The Poll Attacks. Every time we read a column like this one, we thank our lucky stars that these flawed polls that reflect current perception are for entertainment purposes only. Teams will get a chance to settle their real rankings on the court. What some sportswriter in Eugene thinks about Villanova is about as important as what a Floridian believes concerning a local dogcatcher race in Wyoming — it’s irrelevant. And we love it that way.
- Gregg Doyel examines the case of Enes Kanter and his eligibility through the prism of the NCAA rulebook and asks the question of when a pro is (or isn’t) a pro? As he correctly points out, the NCAA has drawn a bright line with the apples/oranges comparison between sports, as in the cases of Josh Booty, Chris Weinke and current Clemson QB Kyle Parker, all of whom played professional baseball prior to becoming amateur NCAA football players. But why have they drawn a distinction — what is the fundamental difference here? It would be interesting to review the NCAA legislative history on this issue to see what the thinking was.