A Column of Enchantment: Offseason Blues, Man

Posted by Joseph Nardone on April 9th, 2015

That was fun. We got to experience college basketball in its best form during the NCAA Tournament. We had upsets, fun stories, and a slew of hyperbole (my personal favorite). The season even ended with the vampire known to the public as Coach K winning his fifth national title. It couldn’t have gone better, really. I mean that. The ratings were good; people used those ratings to blindly ignore glaring issues within the sport; and the world is a better place for it… or something — likely something, but whatever.

This man scoffs at your criticism. (AP)

This man scoffs at your criticism. (AP)

It is over, though. Sad days are upon us. Grab a box of tissues if you will, but (spoiler alert) the college basketball season is over. Dead. Murdered by the final buzzer going off in the championship game. The 2014-15 season is history. Ancient history if you hate Duke and just a rumor of a season that will join other urban legends if you are a Kentucky fan. Regardless, it is over and it isn’t coming back unless George Carlin shows up at your doorstep with a gosh slam phone booth (under 28 year-olds, Google it). If my mom taught me anything — well, anything other than knowing I am the greatest, ever — it is the past is in the past for a reason. It is time to move on. I mean, we gave the Duke fan base a full three days to relish in their victory. Time is up now. Seriously, Duke, what have you done for me lately? Not to mention that Coach K’s acceptance (all the sarcasm) of the one-and-done philosophy being used as a way to further elevate his standing is as laughable as it is to look in the mirror. What, just me?


About Coach K’s usage of freshmen to push his legacy. Yeah, um, no. First, here is the most important thing: He doesn’t need any more evidence that he is an all-time all-timer. It is he and John Wooden. That is it. That’s the short list of guys who are better than everyone else. If you want to argue those two, go right ahead. My math has told me 10 is still greater than five, though. But I assume you don’t care about that and would rather use the differences in eras to help propel one over the other. Also, you do know we can just celebrate the vampire without comparing him to Wooden all the time, right? I swear it. It is okay to just be celebrated. Not every single thing in this world needs to be compared. If you like the Big Mac and Whopper, great! There’s no need to do a 30-page slideshow to demonstrate which one is more gnarly. Ugh.

The man. The myth. The legend. Mike

The man. The myth. The legend. Mike Krizilonski … or something like that.

For what it is worth, which isn’t much because who cares, Coach K has had one-and-done players on his roster before this season. Granted, not as many (presumably) as this group, but it has happened. The idea that he has used a John Calipari method to more perfection is just kind of silly. It is the same thing, except it isn’t, so need to put down Cal to prop up K. You feel me? Of course you don’t. There’s also no need to keep pretending Coach K just “accepted” the one-and-done rule and has reluctantly put recruiting them into practice. Unlike Jason Whitlock’s thoughts on the matter, who magically correlated Brad Stevens taking the Celtics job as him hating one-and-dones, Coach K didn’t just go, “Ah, shucks, guys. I am going to do this, but only because I am being forced too.”

Here is the thing. Maybe Coach K hates it. Probably, actually. Still, if he was that much of a moralist against the idea of it, then he wouldn’t be doing it. He has valued winning over whatever (probably fake) notion of acceptance here. So please stop putting words in his mouth to elevate your own ideas of him or the rule. It is just a rule. The same one all college teams are playing under. Because Cal and the vampire are better at it than others does not mean they cheat or are doing so reluctantly or whatever. They are doing it because they like winning and it is easier to do so by having the best talent in the world on your roster — no matter if they are seniors, freshmen, or whatever the hell Bo Ryan was referring to in his presser the other night.


I can’t wait for the Bo Ryan Comedy Central Roast by the way. The Justin Bieber one stunk. Outside of Pete Davidson I didn’t find it that funny. Call me jaded, call me dumb, call me Randy, but Bieber was clearly using that platform to enhance his image among the not-10 year-old girl demo. It was fine, I guess, until the end came and he started to babble on about being whatever the hell it was he was saying. I don’t know because I am a man and men don’t listen to Justin Bieber talk. Full disclosure: I do find his songs catchy. I don’t care how many cool points I just lost. You don’t sell millions of records because you record music that refuses to make folks’ heads bob. I am a Belieber!

Bo Ryan (USA Today Images)

Bo Ryan’s Rent-a-Comment Set the World on Fire Monday Night (USA Today Images)

Back to Ryan. He sure is surly. His comments did manage to make the mean streets of Twitter implode upon themselves. The dialogue went from what the hell is wrong with Bo, to we only like honesty except in situations where we want humility, all the way to everyone debating what he actually said. I honestly could give zero flying poops (they’ve got wings now, kids) what Ryan said. If he meant what he said, is willing to back it up and not backtrack, so be it. Just because he lost a basketball game does not mean he should be void of opinions. Maybe a better platform for it, sure, but it is not as if Bo Ryan went to your grandma’s wake to talk about this. He did it in a postgame presser.

Okay. We are off track from the real topic here, which is Bo Ryan being the honoree of a Comedy Central Roast. I do imagine it would go over poorly. That has less to do with Ryan and more to do with other coaches having to be on the comedy joke chairs. Coaches have a really hard time having fun at their own expenses. They can muster a few seconds here and there during a presser or interview, but you know they hate it. Not many people in the world take themselves as seriously as college basketball coaches. Could you imagine Ryan and other coaches being forced to listen to Jim Ross rail on them for 10 minutes? Say what you will about those roasts, but all the humor comes in the truth being spewed. I don’t think coaches could handle the truth all that well. Latest case in point being Grumpy Uncle Jim Boeheim being still-defiant after getting his head caught in the cookie jar.


What do we do now? The season is over. We already covered that. We didn’t cover how in the Sam Cassell Jr. we are supposed to cope with such hard times ahead. Do we rely on my bad fiction, Walton anecdotes, turn our attention to the NBA, binge watch whatever people say is cool on Netflix? The hell if I know. I got kids, man. I’ll probably just throw stuff in their general direction and guise that as playing with them. “Here, children..”, as Joe throws a carton of lukewarm milk in their direction, “winner gets to drink it.”

Honestly don’t do the above unless you have friends over and can set a money line. There’s no need to have your kids fistfight if there’s zero gambling involved. It is worth noting, though, you will be temped to bet on your older kid, but that’s a mistake. My six-year-old is old enough now to have a soul. Or, at least the idea of one. She has feelings and doesn’t want to hurt other people. She’s going to be tepid in the battle for the lukewarm milk. Now, my three-year-old has no soul. Or, at least lacks the idea of one. She will see that carton of lukewarm milk and will fight until someone dies for it. For real, as I am writing this she walked over to me with a bag of chips. I told her no, because it is 10 in the morning, and that would be bad Daddy-ing if I said yeah so I could finish this column quicker. She proceeded to punch my kneecap. I am 2934290492 times the size of her and she was willing to throw down for a bag of generic chips! Don’t F with the soulless, kids.

Eh, I digress. Basketball — kind of.

Joseph Nardone (22 Posts)

Joseph has covered college basketball both (barely) professionally and otherwise for over five years. A Column of Enchantment for Rush The Court on Thursdays and other basketball stuff for The Student Section on other days.

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