Sunday, March 10, 2013
And This Is, One More Time, Why We Watch Sports
Trevor Releford, you magnificent bastard!
With his team on the NCAA bubble, having pissed away a 17 point lead at home, with Georgia ready to stick the dagger in with a wind-the-clock-out-and-fire game winner in their hands..... THIS happened.
Or, as Ricky Bobby would say: "What does that do? Did that just blow your mind? That. Just. Happened..."
A metric ton of great games, great moments, and great intensity in college basketball over the weekend. And we're still a full week away from selection Sunday. I know that I have lamented the (undeniable) decline of the college game, and the college scene in hoops the last few years. But the simple fact remains: these kids play their assess off for the front of the jersey. If only for one year, sure. But if it's just one year for some of them, we'll have to take it.
Releford may, or may not, someday make crazy NBA coin and buy himself a mansion with a grotto and fish tanks full of bull sharks.
What matters, is that this moment for him, is indelible and worth more than whatever the Toronto Raptors might some day pay him.
He won't have to TELL his kids and grand kids about this shot. He'll just say: "Go ahead, think I'm exaggerating? Google it..."
I loved watching this game ending sequence so much, I nearly broke the rewind and pause button on my DVR. Some things that popped to the front of my mind....
1. When the opponent has the ball, shot clock off, and a chance to win the game, it is THE WORST! It's like an execution, where you have to stand against the wall, and hope the guy with a pistol from long range misses.
2. The turnabout dagger, which this was, is exceptionally rare. Most of the time, you MIGHT get them to miss, then rebound, and call timeout for a last second play. That dynamic is not nearly as awesome as how this game played out.
3. Watch the Alabama bench as Releford is about to launch. Even though the pure statistical prospects of a running half courter are pretty damn low, those guys in warm-ups are crouched and ready - almost as if they had seen the script for this epic finish and know how it turns out. I love the guy at the end of the bench who is pogo-hopping as the ball makes its final descent into Bama hoops lore.
4. When the horn sounds as the game winning shot is about half-way home, it is the FUCKING BEST. The best! And now with the red-light LED's around the backboard, it's just so damn cool when guys hit buzzer beaters.
5. Thank god for whomever invented the mic'd up rim in basketball. Somebody smart, a long time ago, knew that clean audio of where the pumpkin-meets-the-twine would make for an excellent broadcast "sweetener." And in this case, the audio is awesome. The ball rips through the rim with an epic "ssssshhhhhWUNK!" that makes the entire building explode.
6. The announcers made the perfect call: "OHHHHHHH..ooooooohhhhh....." They say in TV you should "lay out" and the "big moments" speak for themselves with pictures and natural sound. But not always. On these kind of plays, the pure orgasmic wonder of the paid professionals wearing the headsets is absolutely pitch perfect.
Let's hope this moment is a harbinger of a great tournament. Hell, it's pretty hard to fuck up the NCAA's, even though the NCAA is trying their darndest. With the sheer weakness of the top teams this year - it's possible that 3 of the #1 seeds will have FIVE losses each, un-heard of! - I think this bracket is the most wide open affair since they went to 64 teams.
Let's get it on. And make sure to start planning your creative get-out-work excuses now.