Sunday, April 4, 2010
Kiss This Perfect Little Thing Goodbye
I don’t know about you, but I watched the Final Four Saturday under a lingering cloud of depression.
The realization that this most awesome of sporting events is about to be ruined – and that this was the very last pure Final Four I would watch – just left me in a funk.
I could hardly enjoy seeing Butler – again, F’ING BUTLER! – crash the Championship game despite shooting a lousy 31% against Tom Izzo’s bruisers. Normally, I would absorb the magnitude of this Cinderella story, instead I just kept wondering about how stupid and messed up next year’s “bracket” is going to be with 96 teams.
Sorry for swearing, but if I don’t, I’m gonna lose my mind.
That’s a joke. Ninety-six of the FINEST basketball teams in the land! Har. Sure. My god, we gotta get Dayton and a lousy, under-achieving, mail-it-in UNC into this puppy next year.
To quote a favorite line from Opie and Anthony: “Go screw!”
As sports fans, we have affirmed over and over our love for March Madness. We have said how perfect it is. We have obsessed, we have gambled, filled out brackets, formed pools, organized trips to Vegas – all around this beautiful, breathing monster of sporting month!
Nobody was asking for more of it. It was perfect. But here it comes, sports fans.
Open wide, because we’re gonna shove it down your throat. And Dick Vitale will be calling the Final Four.
Yep. That’s gonna happen. You can bank on it.
“Heyyyyyyy bayyyybeeeeee! This is awesommmmeeeee, I’m at the Final Fourrrrrrrr baybeee!”
Oh, but don’t worry, the even Bigger Dance is gonna be BETTER! Or, not much different than it is now. Or it’ll be whatever spin the NCAA overlords put out that particular day. They’ll say because it’s on ESPN’s Gatling-gun of different channels, you can watch more games. They’ll say it’ll help more mid-majors make the field. They’ll say they had no choice, economically. They’ll say it makes mathematical sense. They’ll say it won’t hurt the integrity of the regular season.
They’ll say, they’ll say, they’ll say….
Truth is, they will be lying out of their asses on half the claims, and the other half they really won’t know what is gonna happen next. Neither do we.
Chances are, things won’t be better. There will be un-intended consequences. Nasty surprises. Opposite reactions to what they had thought would happen.
Up until last week, however, I had consoled myself by thinking: “Okay. Whatever. I’ll just jump in when they get down to 64. The extra weekend on the front end, would just be a way to essentially “play the bubble.”
Oh, but wait. We found out there won’t be an extra weekend. They are going to jam this larger shovel of shit into the same 3 week sized bag.
In short, I see the following.
An all-cable, all-ESPN mega-tournament will peel off even more of the casual college fan. It’ll un-mainstream it, just like what happened when the NBA fled for cable. It won’t help more St. Mary’s make the dance. It’ll help more Mississippi States and Texas A&M’s. It won’t give coaches more job security, it’ll get more of them fired.
TV ratings will not go up.
Making the tournament won’t be special. Winning a game in it won’t be special. Waiting to see the brackets on TV that Sunday night won’t be special. Filling out your mega-pool-sheet won’t be special.
One Shining Moment will now be Is It Finally Over Already?
I’m gonna start drinking now.