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Monday, March 20, 2006

A brief basketball thought

I read a bit in the paper today about the goings-on at the NCAA Tournament, and I have to admit: that Tournament probably yields more great sports stories, per event, than any other major sporting event outside of the Olympic Games. So I guess my difficulty with the Tournament, as in my inability to get that excited about it, lies in my lack of excitement about basketball in general as a sport.

First, I was an utterly crappy basketball player. I learned when I was in college that I had very little depth perception to speak of, in terms of judging distances, which goes a long way towards explaining why I've never been good at sports that involved throwing things specific distances (as in, shooting a basketball). Sucking at a sport in a participatory way doesn't help much when it comes time to partake of that sport in a spectator way.

Second, I realized another problem I have with basketball as a spectator sport when I saw the movie White Men Can't Jump: it's a gorgeous sport when watched in slow-motion, but not so much at real speed. And for all the talk about how it's a thrilling and fast-paced game, that doesn't hold up, really: a basketball game takes two to two-and-a-half hours to watch, and the last minute or so of gameplay is almost always interminable as the trailing team starts fouling left and right in hopes of snatching the rebound or something. Of course, the same phenomenon doesn't bother me as much in football; but then, football is a "one play at a time" sport, so gameplay is constantly starting and stopping.

Anyway, those are just my opinions on basketball. I'm always a bit jealous of all the people who get excited by the NCAA Tournament, and I wish I'd lived in Syracuse just a week longer so I could have seen what it was like to be in a town that had just won it all.

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