by - March 21, 2011 - - 1 Comment »

Some form of structure is necessary to make anything work. Too much structure can be frustrating but a lack of any structure is crippling. The NCAA Tournament structure is perfect.

In fact, the structure is so strong that it is able to overcome poorly played games, a lack of dominant teams, a dearth of overall talent and games that are lost more than they are won.

Close doesn’t always mean good. Some of these close finishes remind me of the “South Park” episode where the boys find playing baseball boring, thus they intentionally try to lose so they can go home and play video games. The only problem is their opponents employ the same strategy. Watching the tourney this weekend, I thought, it’s not about who makes the last big play down the stretch in a bunch of these matchups, it’s about who makes the last big mistake.

However, the drama remains because of the bracket and the stakes. Seasons end with every game. Many kids are done playing high-level basketball with each final buzzer. And stars are created just for this time of year, whether that translates to the next level or not.

It may also be the only major sporting event where interest wanes as it goes along. But there must be interest in the first place in order for it to wane. The structure of March Madness ensures there always will be.

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One Response to “Structure”

  1. T. Dedius says:

    One and done. I am not talking about freshmen leaving after one year. I am not talking about teams losing their first game in the tournament and going home. I am talking about Robin Lundberg giving a compliment to college basketball and then going right back to bitchslapping it. The structure of your arguments against college basketball are poorly constructed, lack a dominant premise, and because of your dearth of overall knowledge of teams in the tournament you find it much easier to criticize than to enjoy watching. Even though games are won and lost more times on mistakes than on buzzer beaters and close doesn’t always mean good, TNT knows drama. Robin Lundberg knows flaws and he will always gladly point them out to you even when you never asked him in the first place.

    Your arguments against college basketball are flawed in themselves. Your constant comparison of professional basketball versus college basketball needs to be analyzed. You sound like an 80-year old man saying, “In my day, professional baseball players had to fight in two wars, WWII and Korea, work two jobs, and in their spare time, work on a cure for polio.” To which the general response is, “Grandpa, we were talking about little Jeffrey’s tee ball league, why do you always feel the need to make the comparison?” You have repeatedly defended your position about the superiority of talent of the NBA. Good for you. Yes, amateur athletes are inferior to professional athletes. But just like in amateur porn, amateur basketball players make mistakes, penetrate the wrong hole, cough up the ball prematurely, and there is usually some crying in the end, but it is just as enjoyable to watch as professional basketball players and professional porn stars going through the motions to give the viewers a predictable but satisfying ending with the Lakers jizzing on the competition.

    Your use of Jared Jeffries and Mike Conley as examples for the lack of talent in college basketball since they were the top players on losing teams in National Championship games is poor. I think to better demonstrate the lack of talent in college basketball, the 2002 National Champion Maryland Terrapins would be a much better example. This team was led by Lonny Baxter. No, not Lonnie Baxter, Attorney at Law who you see on commercials claiming that he will fight for you. Also, other talentless players from that team were Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, and Chris Wilcox, who just recently scheduled a game against the New York Knicks.

    Robin Lundberg’s inability to control himself from taking repeated shots at college basketball can be traced to his inferiority complex from growing up in Maryland. Due to Maryland’s lack of a professional basketball team and the University of Maryland’s lack of success in the ACC when compared to Duke and North Carolina, Lundberg’s lack of attachment to a specific team in multiple sports explains his flexible and everchanging rooting interests in teams. How many individuals do you know have rooted for the Redskins, Giants, Eagles, Cavs, Heat, and Knicks? I know one. Robin Lundberg.

    1050 ESPN Radio is vastly inferior to WFAN in ratings, talent, and reception, but I still enjoy listening to both, especially when I am in the two block broadcast radius of 1050 ESPN Radio studios, but a comparison does not have to be made each and every time the inferior station’s name is brought up. That would be like when the Mets’ money problems are brought up that it has to be pointed out that 1050 ESPN Radio is going on the cheap by having their own hosts do the job of the Sportcenter update anchors that they fired back in October.

    Jon Rothstein’s favorite sentence in the world is, “You know who he reminds me of?” When you respond, “no,” Rothstein believes that you are generally interested in his comparison, but what you really wanted to say was, “Please, no!!! And if you say Eddie House, I am going to burn this building to the ground! Enough with the comparisons for Christ’s sake!” My feelings exactly.

    Lack of interest or lack of knowledge in a topic leads to generalities which leads to comparisons to topics you wish you were talking about in the first place. So during next March Madness, just stick to NBA talk.

    I apologize if you thought I went on and on and would never end but I was just preparing you for the NBA playoffs from April 16 to when hell freezes over.

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