The NCAA had their Selection Sunday Show this past Sunday evening. CBS paid big money for the right to telecast and produce this show telling the country who the participants in this years’ NCAA basketball championships would be. They dropped the ball. It didn’t bounce!
Someone leaked this year’s bracket on Twitter about 20 minutes after the start of the show. In past years this was a 30 minute or one- hour show. This year CBS turned it into two hours of boredom. The show went on longer than the Downton Abbey series!
Charles Barkley as Carson the Butler just didn’t work! The “Round Mound of Rebound” as Barkley was once affectionately known, stumbled and bumbled his way throughout the production, desperately trying to be the funny guy he is touted as being. Barkley definitely is a mound and getting to be a bigger mound everyday! A college basketball analyst he is not. Why CBS and the NCAA trots out these guys that spend most of their year working professional basketball, to provide analysis for the college game is beyond dumb.
CBS has drawn tons of criticism for drawing out the show into two hours, making America and many basketball teams, sit through the interminable yakking, waiting, waiting, waiting, to find out who would be in the field. Some Kentucky players fell asleep at the home of coach John Calipari. They weren’t alone!
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships are the greatest sporting event in America. That’s why they call it March Madness. It doesn’t need any hype. It doesn’t need professional basketball analysts brought in from the boring professional game to prep themselves for two or three days ahead of time and then regurgitate to us what they’ve memorized about the college game and its’ players and stars.
There are plenty of radio and television announcers and analysts that have spent the whole season doing college games that would be far better than what the NCAA and CBS bring us. I just don’t want the television networks to do to the NCAA Tournament what they’ve done to the Super Bowl and what they are beginning to do to the NCAA Football Championship game. In both cases, the hype and the production have become bigger than the game itself.
Keep it simple stupid. That works for me. The purity of this March Madness, this Bracketology, this championship of college basketball, can stand on its’ own merits. It doesn’t need doctoring. It doesn’t need help from professional basketball. It is great just as it is and as it has been.
It is not clear who posted the tweet that let the cat out of the bag Sunday evening but I do thank them. It kind of stopped the bleeding in a television production that was hemorrhaging. I don’t know much about tweeting, twitting or any of that but I can cheer the results.
Here’s hoping the NCAA and CBS have listened to the criticism. March Madness is a great event. Don’t mess it up. Don’t try to make it “better” or I am going to have to learn to twit, or tweet, or twiddle or whatever!
Twiddle de dee, Twiddle de dum.