For the past week or so, everyone at work has been like: “Eeeeeyyy, how ’bout them Ducks? You guys are top seed!” And my response has been:
“…Huh? Oh, basketball. Yes. My team play good.”
Anyone can tell just from a fleeting glimpse of my car, my home, my office, or my wardrobe that I’m a proud Oregon fan. But they incorrectly assume that I am an Oregon basketball fan. I’m happy that my alma mater is doing so well at college hoops, but I am the sorriest excuse for a college basketball fan and I’ll be the first to admit it. I only went to a handful of games when I was a student. I don’t really understand the game, other than that the goal is to put the bouncy round orange thing into the shooty-hoop. I’ve tried to follow the Ducks’ basketball team in the past but I just felt like a phony. Because I was raised on football, and trying to force myself into being enthusiastic about college basketball has never worked and I’ve finally given up.
I’m going to attempt to explain myself but will probably sound like an idiot in the process. Here are some of my issues with college basketball, and March Madness specifically:
- Too many games. During the regular season these guy play, like, three times a week. They play so often that the games seem less important than in college football because there’s not as much at stake. Also, the games are often on weeknights and I’m already tired enough, I don’t need a basketball game to put me to sleep. And during the tournament, it’s like…games ALL THE TIME, ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT. It’s too many games!!! How do they even do it? Do they put crystal meth in the Gatorade?
- Too many teams. I know that the “big” teams are Duke, Kentucky (I specifically listed them second because I love to annoy my husband), UNC, and…well, that’s it. But beyond that I don’t really know who is good and even if a team is supposed to be good they always end up losing to some random school that nobody has ever heard of. Which brings me to my next point…
- I don’t like the winner-take-all, 64-team tournament. So what, just because a team loses ONE TIME means that their chances of winning are completely ruined? What if they are fundamentally better than the other team but were just having a bad day? What if the starting point guard (that’s a thing, right?) was like “You know what, I’ve been really good lately, I’m gonna treat myself to a cheat day” and goes to Dunkin Donuts and he gets a cramp during a free throw (that’s also a thing, right?) and they lose to some School of the Blind just because of that? It doesn’t seem fair.
- The games are too close. It seems like the score always comes down to the last minute. It’s too exciting!!! I can’t handle it!!!!!
- TOO MANY FOULS. I much prefer football when the players are allowed–even encouraged–to smash into each other and it’s cool until you’re diagnosed with brain damage at 35. In every basketball game I’ve watched, a foul has been called just for a guy sneezing on an opposing player. But my least favorite thing is during the last few minutes of the game when they foul each other All. The. TIME. on purpose to try to get the clock to stop. The last five minutes of any basketball game takes at least forty-five excruciating minutes.
- Free throws are stupid. Free throws in basketball are as stupid as field goals in football. They exist only to slow the game down and make the fan base angry when the players miss them.
- Also, why do the announcers call a shooty-hoop a “field goal?” Quit trying to be more like football to trick me!
Basketball uniforms are ugly. If I’m paying to see athletic men, I want to see them in tight pants, not those swishy, silky long shorts. Also, basketball shoes are the most hideous things you can put on your feet, and I’m including Crocs in that statement.
- My husband. He’s always kicking me off the couch when I’m watching HGTV and saying, “But this is a really important Kentucky game!” Guess how many games he considers to be “really important” for Kentucky? All 42 out of 42 of them. So I’m forced to merely imagine the Property Brothers and their sage realty advice.
- I am lazy. All of my reasons for not liking college basketball are stupid and exist mostly because I have made no effort to understand the game or its culture.
It’s not all bad, though. A few things I do appreciate more about college basketball vs. college football:
- More scoring, more points, more action. Well…actually, both Oregon football and Oregon basketball tend to score similarly. Heh heh heh.
- It’s easier to see what’s going on. The field of play is smaller, there are less players, and you’re closer to the game.
- The coaches! There is nothing more hilarious than a furious college basketball coach in a full suit and tie. Not even Mike Stoops can match the rabidity of a red-faced grown man spitting at a ref from his courtside chair.
- I do like doing the brackets. Specifically, I like doing the brackets and filling them out according to mascot cuteness in order to piss off everyone who is serious about it.
- No B.S. BCS politics. My qualms with the 64-team playoff pale in comparison to my frustration with the BCS in college football. Though a team may blow it and end their season due to a few assorted donut holes, the fact that deserving teams are frequently left out of the most competitive bowl games every year in an effort to pander to establishment programs gets irritating.
- My husband. He gets SO ANGRY during college basketball teams and it’s hilarious. Like, Mike Stoops angry. It’s spectacular.