Mar 16 2007

SportSwag and the Trouble with College Hoops

Cap’nSwag here, with my first of hopefully many installments tackling the good, bad and ugly in sports.

I watched a few NCAA Tournament games yesterday and it’s officially official: College basketball can’t even hold a candle to the pros. I’m no longer even entertaining the argument. I used to get into it all the times with older types who would continually repeat the same mantra, “they care more in college, it’s more of a team game, the pros are overpaid, we’re scared of black people rap culture, anum sheba, anum sheba, anum sheba, anum sheba!” and then a shaman would reach into their chest and pull out their heart. Just kidding… kind of. But it’s true, that’s the fall-back position, that they think the collegiate athletes have more heart because they aren’t paid, and that the lack of overpaid, overhyped stars leads to a more cohesive team game. All I can say to all that is this; bullshit. Don’t hand me a bunch of loose rhetoric based on what you saw in some games during the, admittedly, dark ages of late 90’s NBA play. The bottom line is the NBA is the cream of the paltry college crop. The talent pool isn’t diluted by forcing one or two good players to play on a team of rejects, and though it may not be as lily white as the college game, it’s high time we let go of that foolishness and embrace the new game.
So there are a lot of black dudes in the NBA. I don’t see why that should turn white audiences off from the game. It’s called racism. Trying to justify it with any other qualifyers is bull$h@t. The craziest part is that there are really only a tiny handful of these black athletes that actually “represent a hip hop lifestyle,” that terrifies white America. The only truly gangster dudes in the NBA are Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest and Jamaal Tinsley. And who put those dudes on the same team? The great white hope, Larry Bird.

As for team play being better in college, that’s just hogwash. The stars in college get the rock in their hands on every play, just like in the pros. The only difference is that in college the team’s lone stud gets triple teamed every time he touches it, forcing him to get his worthless teammates involved.

As for “heart,” frankly my dear, I don’t give a sh%t. I’ll take a heartless, cold blooded, rim rocking, three draining, crossover blinding, defensive stalwart like Kobe, who does get paid more than God, any day over some “full of heart” star like Kevin Pittsnogle, who was so good and “hearty” in college that he couldn’t even make a pro team. He’s currently languishing in the NBADL hoping 25 seven footers simultaneously die of heart attacks and he gets called up to the bigs.

As for being overpaid, they get paid what the market will bear. If we didn’t love the game so much, they wouldn’t get paid crap (see Major League Soccer, or the NHL for examples of what that looks like). They don’t get paid as much as Baseball players, who do demonstrably nothing for most of the game as they wait for someone to make contact.
I watched Indiana and Gonzaga run up and down the court as a formless mess last night, chucking threes and committing turnovers and it struck me: these guys are so inferior to the NBA, I wouldn’t even accurately describe it as the same sport.

For more of the Cap’n’s snarkiness, come visit me at my blog, SportSwag, or on First Bounce Fly to which I contribute articles.

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