Monday, March 23, 2015

This (Non) Sporting Life: Rebound the Damn Ball, Carolina!

So the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament started last week which can be a kind of/sort of stressful time around the El Family Fortress of Ineptitude. Well, it's a stressful time for my wife who is a "fan" of the North Carolina Tarheels. I put "fan" in quotes because, well, her relationship with this team is not always positive.  

Take Carolina's opening game against Harvard. I'm not sure how well Harvard plays basketball what with the team using their butlers as proxies on the court. ("Excellent 3-point play, Jeeves!" "Higgins, you must improve your hook shot, old bean!") They apparently played well enough to erase Carolina's 16 point lead. 

So I'm safely ensconced in the bedroom while listening to Andrea yell and scream at the TV. Apparently based on my wife's observation, Carolina has a bad habit of "not rebounding the damn ball". I don't know if it's true or it's just the only thing she understands about basketball.*

*My understanding of basketball is limited to "Put the ball through the hoop."  

At the game's end she comes stomping towards our bedroom and enters, angry and breathing hard like that bull that Bugs Bunny pisses off in "Bully For Bugs". I'm assuming the Tarheels had lost and was prepared to offer my sympathies on the matter. 

Except they had NOT lost. 

"They won," my lovely wife snarled. 

I responded with no small degree of hesitancy. "They won? Uh, that's...good?" 

"By only two points!"

"But they won."

"By only TWO stinking points!!"

This is not a phenomenon unique to my wife. I've heart lots of Tarheel "fans" voice similar perspectives like the team won but it should've been my more. Or it's always Carolina that folds in the crunch, not the other team playing a better game. There seems to an appallingly lack of faith in the Tarheels by Tarheel fans. 

Now my side of the Fortress of Ineptitude follows the Duke Blue Devils. I'm not an "ABC" fan. (Anybody But Carolina) There are a lot of people in the state of North Carolina who would call that blasphemy. The general consensus is that when you're down with one of those team, the other team can burn in hell. It's usually that intense. 

I have a co-worker named Tony who is also a Duke fan. Tony and I frequently find ourselves in the odd position of defending the North Carolina Tarheel fans. 

Me: Marcus Paige did very good out there, scoring 24 points.
Tarheel Fan: Marcus could've gotten more if he learned to rebound the damn ball!

Meanwhile, I look at any Duke loss as a superior effort by the other team. It's not to say Duke cannot have a bad night. They can and they have. But the other team has to have some talent and skill to take advantage of Duke's bad night. When Carolina has a loss, Andrea tends to forget there's another team on the court fighting for the ball and looking to score points. No, Carolina threw away the game. The Tarheels seemed to not care. Were the North Carolina Tarheels even trying to play the game? 

As we head into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, both Duke and Carolina are still alive in the tournament. To Duke, let me say I have confidence in the Blue Devils. And if you should lose, well, that would be a shame but still, it was a great show to get this far into the tournament and play against the best teams in the nation. No matter what happens, Blue Devils, Duke fans have got your back.  

To Carolina, congratulations on making this far even after trying to give up and throw away the game against Harvard. You've been very lucky so far but that luck will run out. So go, 'Heels! Just remember, Tarheels, Duke fans have got your back.

I'll see you back here tomorrow. Until then, be good to one another. 

I'm S Glad My Suffering Amuses You

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