Archive for April 3, 2007

A March Hair Up My #%*@!

April 3, 2007 Leave a comment

March Madness? What a load. Why are all these fat white men so hot for college baskeball? I accepted these jags were going to co-opt March a few years ago. But why has it been allowed to encroach upon Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season? Yeah, I know all about it. That’s known as a rhetorical, albeit stupid question. M O N E Y

College is many things. In the truest sense of college, preparing young people for a vocation includes those gifted enough to do so. Even if they do have to fake a few semesters & a few cheerleaders before the shoe deal & the new Escalade. If I coulda, I woulda.

The real March Madness this year is the same old story. Dick Vitale, a bombastic & really really loud ex-coach now announcer was bypassed for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. For those students who’ve never read a book, James Naismith, is the founding father of hoops, NOT Michael Jordan. Jordan is a legend. So is Dick Vitale.

This kind of voter bias has occurred in recent memory, with the sad & reprehensible treatment of the late, great Negro League & pure baseball man, Buck O’Neil who was passed over for the hallowed baseball Hall of Fame. Buck worked unselfishly and tirelessly into his 90s for recognition of players from the Negro Leagues. That the Negro Leagues even had to exist is both a remarkable and regrettable part of Amercian history.

Elitist, fathead voters need a dictionary AND a heart. Stats are a wonderful tool for determining a player’s worth during contract negotiations. But fame is something special. Was Buck O’Neil famous? for baseball fans with a brain, he was all that baseball should be. Publicly Mr. O’Neil never displayed any bitterness. I have no idea how he might’ve really felt. Regardless, he was robbed twice, once as a young man & then as an old one, ostensibly because he just didn’t have the stats. If you play the game & fame strictly by numbers, maybe he didn’t. Does he belong in Cooperstown? yes. I’d take a man like Buck O’Neil on my team, even if he just wanted to show up & tell stories. He can’t now, he’s gone. Sure, I’m a sentimentalist, I hope he’s playing ball with Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Jackie, Mickey & the Babe.

AS for Dickie V. I don’t like big time college sports & the myriad of well past college age jerks that suck their living off it. However, he has, dare I say it: vitality & passion. Tightasses don’t like that. Not one bit. They think he self-promotes & is too sycophantic toward his former peer group. But even I know Dick Vitale is synonymous with college basketball and injects his own brand of joie de vivre into it. AND that’s fame, baby!

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