I thoroughly dislike basketball season. In B1G country, that's something of a mortal sin. Admitting a deep disdain for the dark winter months of squeaky shoes and hardwood theatrics ranks somewhere between murder and holding the front door open in January. Those of you from good Midwestern homes not only know that both are unforgivable, but which is considered the greater crime.
Nonetheless, I can't deny the hard truth, and I don't feel bad about it. Basketball is terrible. Terrible to watch. Terrible to hear people prattle on about. In a word, terrible. The pace of the games runs languid for three and half quarters (I refuse to acquiesce to college ball's abrogation of the quarters system) and then frenetic at the end. Except that frantic, harried reward doesn't come. What should be a breakneck melee of running, shooting, and scoring becomes a mind-numbing festival of tactical fouls. Oh look, Duke great Rorfmelon Allen IV is taking his 38th free throw in the past two minutes of clock time. What a game!
March is particularly painful, because it invites the neophytes who haven't watched a lick of college sports all year to suddenly wax knowledgeable about the odds of the East Centralia State Cottonbalers beating the Smortley College Fighting Student Princes. March Madness is the ebb tide of the football off-season. The tournament is a CBS-fueled bonfire of daytime games and crap teams, its flames fanned by the flapping gums of Dick Vitale. "It's serendipity baaaabyyyyy." That of course requires him to momentarily stop verbally fellating Mike Kryszewski for long enough to notice another team.
Coach K. Don't even get me started on that guy.
Like my fellow "writer" 87Townie, I was raised on wrestling. That was the sport of strong young men. Basketball was playground stuff for the kids who couldn't take an elbow to the mouth without crying. To this day, I look back on wrestling practices as some of the most brutal physical events of my life. Few things teach a kid more about his own strength, grit, and will to fight than a mano-a-mano, 6-minute anaerobic fight before a screaming crowd. Thunderdome for 4-H kids.
There's a reason you've never seen anyone puke from exertion after 6 minutes of basketball.
Alas, wrestling doesn't get the eyeballs of basketball. It's too nuanced, too esoteric for the great unwashed. So we're stuck with shootyball and their crybaby fouls.
That's a shame, because basketball is terrible.