Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Basketball is a much better sport than football. I am prepared to argue the point.

It is easier to understand. There are only 5 players on the court at any time, and they usually have their names on their jerseys. It's easier to follow the ball when it's not blocked from view by 2500 pounds of padded flesh. The players' faces are unobscured by face guards and helmets; their grimaces and their grins are part and parcel of my enjoyment. 

The game frowns upon undue bodily contact; players don't suffer two concussions in six weeks (cf. Anu Solomon, UofA quarterback). There is bumping and shoving and pushing, but no one is diving into your chest, driving you to the ground, preventing you from making a play. Defense is played with the feet, not the hands or the shoulders or the head. I don't have to worry about brain stem contusions while watching young men play a game.
I grew up with the Knicks, moved on to the Bulls, took second in TBG's office pool with Jim Valvano's Wolfpack and have never looked back.  The pro game is uninteresting until the playoffs, and only marginally (to me) even then.  I like talking about Steph Curry with Mr. 10, but I can't name another player on his team.  

I follow the college game more closely.  DePaul... Arizona... I've enjoyed it most when I've had a home team. There are few big stars in the college game; there are great teams and coaches and rivalries, though.  It's the team game that appeals to me, and I see more of that in the college arena.

As I type, Coach K is letting his players suffer the slings and arrows of a double digit deficit, not calling a time out, giving Kentucky all the room it needs to spread its wings and fly.  Georgetown is on in ten minutes, and Kansas/Michigan State tips off after the Blue Devils /Wildcats contest.

I love this time of year.

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