Odds and Ends - Part 2
I never noticed before this season the distraction that timeouts have become. Not only are there the "emergency" timeouts when a player is either falling out of bounds or is about to be tied up, the spacing of normal timeouts, in my opinion, interferes with the flow of the game. Maybe there is no satisfactory solution to this problem because the TV people have no way of knowing when a team is going to call time out and they have contractual obligations to fulfill. But it certainly is irritating to return to play from a regular time out and the bombardment of the same old TV ads only to find that shortly thereafter another time out is called so they can bombard us with some more ads. In a perfect world, they would not allow the same advertisement to be shown more than once during a game. I know....too expensive to create that many ads but if I see that Alltel ad where the kids are calling home from college and the parents are racing around the swimming pool like they are on drugs one more time, I think I will regurgitate. And I do my cell phone business with Alltel. I really wonder if there is not a point at which advertising backfires. By this I mean maybe the ad has the reverse effect. Add a negative occurrence in the game being watched immediately prior to viewing the ad and you have the ingredients for a negative reaction.. I don't think I will ever be able to clear from my "memory bank" that guy who used to holler "Tercel" in the Toyota ads. That must have been at least 15 years ago and, to show how much I was paying attention, I'm not even sure "Tercel" is a Toyota product. I usually tried to occupy myself with some other activity when I heard one of those ads coming up.
We Are Not Alone
If we think we are the only ones suffering through this basketball season, all you have to do is go to the message boards of other schools whose teams are having disappointing seasons. The first one that comes to mind is the University of Virginia. It could be argued that they have a bigger problem than we do because not only are they struggling on the court after a good start, they have a coach with a 10 year contract. I'm not sure exactly where he is in the contract but it can't be more than 3 or 4 years which means if they want to terminate their agreement with him, it is going to cost a bundle of money. I believe his annual salary is slightly below Matt Doherty's ( I can't believe I used the word slightly when the difference is actuality approximately $300,000 per year). Also I should not use the word salary when referring to what coaches are paid because much of the total compensation is not what we would normally call salary. Total compensation is the operative phrase. Gillen is funny even if his teams do go into a swoon at the end every year just like ours. He said on his TV show that a lot of people in Charlottesville were suggesting that he jump off a bridge and were even offering him a ride to the bridge. The UVA fans are just as brutal as we are and their criticisms reached an all time low recently when one poster suggested that UVA was better off with Jeff Jones. With higher salaries come higher expectations. Most of us can relate to what a person is paid for employment since most of us either have to work or had to work for a living. More and more I view every situation associated with colleges and universities in the context of how a comparable situation would be handled in the real world. There isn't that much difference in what a head coach does and what a member of top management does. One little difference for me however. I didn't have a contract when I worked and, to make a point, when the occasion seemed appropriate, I would say that I was on probation every day. Technically I wasn't but each time I made the statement, interesting discussions would follow.
This one goes back to last year when UNC played NC A and T. The game was not seen on TV in the Richmond area so I had to rely on newspaper and internet reports on the game. One poster objected to the fact that Woody or someone on his show had referred to one of the A and T players as being white. Since A and T is a predominantly black institution it could be argued that the observation was valid and no offense should be taken since one was not intended. The opposing argument says that no statement would be made if a black player was the only one on an otherwise all white team. I am really taken back, at times, on what offends some people. I personally don't see anything wrong with the statement unless there is something involved of which I am unaware. The UNC-Georgia Tech game this year made history in one sense since it was the first game ever played by Carolina in which a white player did not participate. In view of the situation described above, maybe I should give some thought as to whether somebody will view that statement as being racist. If so, I will take it up with the editor and owner of this web site, both of which are me.
Over a period of time, items catch my attention that do not justify entire articles. This is one of those times.
DUKE FIGHT SONG
Anybody other than me notice the Duke fight song being played at each Duke home game at the conclusion of the first half? Maybe the reason I notice it is that I know that a native Richmonder wrote the song and I have never forgiven myself for not searching him out prior to his demise several years ago. His name was "Jelly Leftwich" and he continued to be active in the Richmond music scene up to near his death. I think it's a pretty good song Begins with "Duke we thy anthems raise, for all praises unknown" or something like that. Speaking of Duke, maybe by the time this article appears there will be a happy ending to the tragic story of the blood type mix-up. I sure hope so for several reasons.
While watching the Memphis-Louisville game prior to the Duke-Maryland game it occurred to me that any ACC team would have trouble with either one of these teams. They both showed a lot of energy and THEY MOVED WITHOUT THE BALL, something UNC has had trouble with this year and in previous years. Unless we have a remarkable run at the end of the season, I don't think UNC has to worry about facing either one of these teams in the NCAAs.
I was pleased to see the technical foul called on the Memphis player as he was preparing to shoot free throws near the end of the game. I think his name was Grice which doesn't matter but it does matter that he was a senior. I thought Calapari was going to have a heart attack when it happened and I don't blame him. It could have cost Memphis the game. I didn't see it when it happened but I sure saw it on the replay. Absolutely no excuse for giving the choke sign while at the free throw line. Seems like coaches can't get the playground out of some of their players.
COACH K AND THE GAME OFFICIALS
There should be a rule that prohibits a game official from uttering a word to a coach after the game begins without the opposing coach being present. Coach K is an excellent coach but he will never get my complete respect until he stops blatantly trying to intimidate the game officials. It's an insult to the intelligence of the fans. Everyone knows that all coaches try to work the officials but when it exceeds certain limits, one has to wonder what is going on. It may even be subconscious but its wrong. Did any of you catch Coach K saying to one of the officials recently "I'm watching you" and giving the official the "Coach K stare?" Why doesn't the media pick up on this? It's simple. They don't want to get on the bad side of Coach K because, in all likelihood, they will lose their jobs. Gosh it feels good to be able to write the above and not have to worry about someone in authority above me not liking it. Viewers are welcome to disagree and they can post their disagreements in the "Sign Guest Book" section on the first page.
FOULS IN LAST THREE MINUTES
Something needs to be done about fouling at the end of games. The Memphis-Louisville game took so long that ESPN viewers were not able to join the Duke Maryland game until almost midway during the first half. I don't blame the coaches and/or the players. They are doing what they think gives them their only chance of winning. Of course, the international rules deals with this in a different way. They afford the team being fouled the option of shooting free throws or taking the ball out of bounds. There is no perfect solution but just about any change would be better than the current situation where the last few minutes take forever.
I have some more items but maybe I should stop for now.
I am currently trying to arrange for Bill Currie to write a guest column. I might not be able to pull it off but then again, maybe I can. Remember, everyone said I couldn't find him and I did.