LARNED — I’m still hanging on to the basketball season though the collegiate finale Monday evening signaled that, indeed, baseball season is here.
You might ask, “Why would you want to hang on to that?”
A Final Four that was so over-hyped that one had to wonder if the folks who stage the Super Bowl have taken over the NCAA Basketball Championships.
Exactly who stages these events?
Who decides that loud music performed by artists ... singers ... professionals ... should take precedence over the game itself?
Who decides that we should be treated to the inane banter of a bunch of former basketball players turned into commentators?
Performers that are more knowledgeable and more comfortable with the NBA than they are with the NCAA. Commentators who consider it their calling to come up with something outrageous to say?
We are treated to a few, very few, analysts who have actually spent the year studying college basketball.
Gosh, it makes me have a craving for Dick Vitale!
Now you know how desperate I think the situation is!
Who was the big winner in this championship game?
I suppose those that hate the “one-and-done” style of Kentucky and some other schools, enjoyed the outcome.
On the other hand, those that root against those who are caught cheating came up empty.
Connecticut just came off of probation for vioilations committed under former coach Jim Calhoun.
Of course we got the usual “We don’t get no respect” and “We showed the world” in a screaming celebration by the UConn players following their victory.
A good team?
Other than that, well ... I’m one of those who is guilty of giving them “no respect.”
The NCAA hierarchy must have hired the producers of that famous circus, “The Greatest Show On Earth.”
P.T. Barnum would be jealous of the hype, the hucksters, the highjinks, that are turned loose on we fans.
This is the same NCAA establishment that is now facing a revolt from its’ athletes as more and more of the young athletes in serfdom are carrying signs saying, “We Want A Union!”
Somebody please, dig up Jimmy Hoffa.
There’s money to be made here!
Of course that is the very point of the dispute. Money.
So far the big cigars of the NCAA and the member universities have been raking in a giant fortune off of the sweat and labors of the indentured servants, the power forwards, running backs, tackles and point guards.
The NCAA has stupidly been playing with fire for a long time.
It is much like a little kid with a pile of firecrackers and some matches. It is only a matter of time until he blows off a finger!
Hey, it was so much fun, so much money, so many trips, so many Final Fours filled with parties and banquets and bracelets and watches and ... well, you get the idea.
All of this while the athletes, you know, the “student athletes” were being held to a different standard than were the coaches, the athletic directors and the universities themselves.
Sign a letter of intent with Coach Al one week and when he turns tail and leaves for greener pastures, the athlete is stuck, told that no, he must honor that letter of intent even though old coach Al didn’t honor his contract with the school or his promise to the young athlete.
You might ask, “Why do you want to hang on to that mess?”
Hey, I’m an optimist.
Maybe Jimmy Hoffa’s descendants or emulators will do something about all of this.
I think the big boys of the NCAA are about to find out.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.