Jesus Christ, I got into the most petty, grating, tedious conversation with my irritating OTE colleagues in our writer’s Slack yesterday after Rutgers beat Nebraska. At the end of this piece, I wanted to include a transcript, but when I tried to export it over to Word it was FORTY PAGES. So... consider it in the Supplementary Data. (For Supplementary Data please email the corresponding author). Anyway, it all started with this. At 4:08 PM EST Nebraska writer BigRedTwice wrote amidst a post-game conversation in our basketball channel:
So does this slow Rutgers’ fans’ roll? Or are they like “Wooohooo we won so we are great and will probably even rise in the rankings!!!”
Then Andrew Kosokowski posted this a little below:
“ANOTHER SELLOUT FOR RUGSTER, GET RUTTED”Little did we know it’s actually a galaxy brain move to have a community college-sized gym.
I responded with a comment using BRT’s post as a jumping off point, and to respond to Andrew’s dumb comment in defense of the RAC as a small stadium (which you can see my unorganized response to that in the comments of Jesse’s stupid article from yesterday— so this write-up will not talk about the RAC’s size). My response comment was in the straightforward, light, reaction style of a post-game recap. LITTLE DID I KNOW, this would the event that started Slack War Petty I.
Dukes arena is smaller than the RAC** Edit: actually bigger, but rather roughly on par with. As are Miami’s, Notre Dame’s, and Boston College’s. The RAC is bigger than Villanova’s arena.
Well, we are great, this is a great team. We reached a ranking and we won on a dope buzzer beating 3 pointer from our favorite player and team captain to keep our home win streak. The performance wasn’t uniform and Nebraska deserves a ton of credit for bringing it frighteningly close, but....
Nothing really suggests a reason for Rutgers fans to not remain excited and grateful for this season
Incredible offense and disagreement resulted over my use of the word “great.”
Let’s look at the definition of the word “Great,” shall we?
- Great, Adjective, 1) of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average. 2) of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average.
I personally still to this moment think that “great” encapsulates Rutgers Basketball at this current point in the season just fine. However, APPARENTLY, according to several OTE writers, in sports, “great” is reserved for specific teams doing well that aren’t Rutgers. And “great” an entirely subjective word should not be used for teams that are, /checks notes/ ranked, and ranked for the first time in FORTY-ONE YEARS, has the best undefeated home record in the country, is putting up stupid tough fights in all games, slaughtered Seton Hall, a top 15 team, beat a ranked Penn State, etc. We even got a Tweet of support from the official March Madness Twitter account.
GEO BAKER. SHOT MAKER. ❄️@RutgersMBB | #GardenStatementpic.twitter.com/W6oUIGkKl9— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 25, 2020
Forgive me if I think all of this and more earns this young Rutgers Basketball team the subjective title of “great,” entirely derived from my own positive, subjective feelings for this team. I also believe that “great” is ultimately a pretty benign adjective and that there are plenty of adjectives that are stronger than “great,” such as: elite, spectacular, monumental, excellent, unrivaled, unchallenged, amazing, stunning, magnificent, imposing, stellar, etc. The fact that I got SUCH a push back over using the word “great” is... stupid.
SOME of the push back comments I got from the OTE writers room:
Jesse: And yes, you should enjoy this. But maybe cool it on the aggressive notion that this team is great?
Bman: I’m happy for Rutgers. I really am. Pikiell has gotten them into a very good position.That said, let’s tap the brakes on the greatness or lack thereof on this team. Their KenPom is 31. Very good, but 7th in the B1G. Their conference SoS is 11th in the B1G with some very tough tests yet to go.They’re doing what I would expect good teams to do. Protect the home court. Be a tough out on the road. Great teams win on the road and Rutgers has not done that yet.
DJ: So “great” is comparison to previous self and not to what is going on currently?
Holy fuck, I need to recalibrate my rankings of what Maryland is and compare everything to 2001-2002 and work downwards. That’s depressing, let’s avoid that
Stew: Yeah, you’re a bit above average
WhiteSpeedReceiver: The standard for great must be slipping. I thought 1996-97 Minnesota and 2010-11 Ohio State were great.
Top 25 is good. Final Four is great.
Thumpasaurus: if trusger great, Illinois 3L173
And I kept up the fight throughout the conversation of course:
It’s a great team to us. Great is an entirely subjective word.
God I knew y’all would be just as insufferable if Rutgers ever stopped sucking in spite of also throwing shade at Rutgers FOR sucking.
Like this Rutgers team compared TO Rutgers teams of the last SEVERAL DECADES. IS. G R E A T. So I’ll say Rutgers basketball is great until I’m blue in the face. I’ll say it all damn day. Rutgers is great great great great great.
I’ll go Tony the fucking Tiger on your asses.
And let it be known that there was one vocal voice of support in all of this from Wisconsin writer MC Clapyohandz who seems to understand:
I’m Team Zooz on this, the whole point of winning around here is being excited and flexing on everyone.
Rutgers beat Minnesota, and for that we thank them. They also beat Wisconsin, which only greatness can accomplish.
Give me one reason Rutgers doesn’t go Elite Eight this year.
It’s almost February and they had a better showing against Illinois than from top in the conference.
She used the word great and like 5 people jumped all over that, just because the vocab wasn’t perfect
What a guy.
Anyway. That’s it. That’s the write-up. Literally we fought over semantics. Let 1/25/20 go down as the pettiest day in Off Tackle Empire writer history.
What do you think the definition of a great team should be? Please let us know in the comments.
Rutgers Basketball is great?
This poll is closed
Whatever, maybe to a Rutgers fan, I guess