March Madness is just a few weeks away, and it's not too early to mention just a few things about the NCAA basketball tournament that I'm really not looking forward to:
• Dicky baby Ð OK, it's almost a clichŽ to say it by now. Nobody is looking forward to having to listen to Dick Vitale, the shrill voice of college basketball. I think, in the beginning, the man had his supporters. His fans. But it's gotten so old and tired. The same old
'PTPer' and 'Diaper Dandy' junk makes me cringe. It's so yesterday. With a capital 'Y,' baby.
On top of that, he doesn't add much to broadcasts. He's not analytical. He's not funny. Really, other than his presence, which used to mean a game was special, there's nothing there.
• Coaches Ð Yeah, just because all the great players head out of college early, or skip it entirely to go pro, the networks feel the need more than ever to turn the coaches into stars. So they incessantly focus on them, creating gods out of people who often are barely one notch above baby sitters.
I believe college-coaching success is much more deeply rooted in recruiting than in actual coaching. A lot of these guys prove that year after year. They get the good players and hand them a ball and just let them play. Players come into the NBA today with fewer fundamentals and less of an understanding of how hard you need to play than ever before.
• 'They play so hard' Ð That's what you always hear from people who don't watch a lot of NBA basketball. They'll tell you how much harder the college kids play. Baloney. The college kids have no clue how hard they're going to have to play just to get minutes in the NBA and to keep from being embarrassed on the floor when they get out there.
The same people who say this, by the way, are the ones who say they don't watch the pro game because of 'selfish players.' Yeah, like there aren't any of those in college Ñ or high school, for that matter. Players don't get selfish overnight. In fact, I think very often they're less selfish in the pros. There's less corruption, too. It's pay-for-play and none of that under-the-table stuff.
• Painted faces Ð If I have to look at one more drunken college kid with a painted face on my TV screen, I'm going to throw something through it. And while I'm at it, why do these television directors insist on showing me so many crowd shots?
There isn't really any point to showing the goofballs trying to get on camera, other than to reward their boorish behavior. When you go to games, do you spend a lot of time watching other fans while the ball is in play?
But they'll show it to you on television over and over. Spare me.