Here’s to Hoops!

Of all the stupid, crazy, wonderful, awful things that happened during the just-completed college basketball season, nothing stands out more than the moment on March 31 when University of Louisville guard Kevin Ware landed badly after attempting a blocked shot. His teammates collapsed in horror at the sight of the bone sticking out of his leg and even the usually loquacious announcers were rendered speechless. Thankfully, it appears that he’s going to be okay.  So I feel free to shift gears a little to reflect upon some of other things that stick in my mind from the 2012-2013 season.

  • While we’re on the subject of Louisville, I’ll confess that my son-in-law Matt, who is a lifelong rabid Cardinals fan, and I stayed up through all five overtimes
    when U of L played Notre Dame February 9.  Only to watch the Cards lose.
  • Is it my imagination, or do more and more players have hyphenated last names these days?
  • I know it’s not my imagination that more and more of them have more and more tattoos.
  • The most interesting player on any roster this season had to be LSU’s Andrew Del Piero, a 7’3” tuba player moved from the pep band to the hardwood for obvious reasons.
  • And speaking of tall players, why do the little guys hustle more than the big guys?
  • Though the giant cardboard heads (my favorite is Betty White) that fans wave around are amusing to those of us watching on TV, I do wonder how the people seated behind them manage to see the game.
  • My hands-down favorite basketball announcer is Barry Booker of the SEC network. The announcer I mute pretty much all the time is Dick Vitale. I’d rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard.
  • Speaking of commentators, here are some of my favorite phrases from this season: “He impacted the ball.” “They’re playing with a sense of urgency.” “You can tell by the ball’s spin if it’s a true release.” The winner? “They have tremendous spurtability.”
  • And my two favorite basketball words from seasons past, still in use: “verticality”
    and “physicality.” Here’s hoping that “spurtability” will hang in there for future seasons.
  • Am I the only one who doesn’t have a clue who Pit Bull, star of the Bud Light
    commercials, is? Ditto for Ken Jeong of Miller Lite fame.
  • Speaking of commercials, if I can’t fast forward through them, I usually mute them. Except for the top-down Volkswagen Beetle commercial, in which a guy who’s wearing a ski mask because he’s been riding in a convertible in winter goes
    into a convenience market to buy snacks. It’s hilarious.
  • There’s nothing I love more than an old-timey lay-up…
  • …unless it’s a made foul shot. It’s beyond my comprehension that even top players at top basketball programs have such abysmal free throw-shooting skills.  True story: Forty years ago, I had a basketball coach whose 75-year-old mother could shoot AND make 100 free throws in a row. And they weren’t granny shots. Proving it’s just not that hard to sink a basket from 15 feet away with nobody guarding you.

Congrats to the Louisville Cardinals men’s team for winning the National Championship and to the women for being runners-up. I’m counting down the days until the 2013-14 season starts.

(April 14, 2013)




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