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Thinking about Breakfast: Butler Upsets Pitt

March 20, 2011



Some despise these kinds of games, and they have a right to--it doesn't seem fair that we put kids under such a microscope, at such a young age, when so much comes down to attrition, fouls, and grit, that in the NCAA Tournament one of the best games of the year can devolve into a foul shooting contest. And while I do enjoy the NBA's postseason more than the NCAA Tournament, I can't go as far as Bethlehem Shoals and say that "whatever this is it isn't basketball." A clock is a clock, whether it is digital or mechanical and you still have to tell time by it. And even in an age when life is lived at a faster pace than ever before, it often transforms into the frozen stare downs of first world powers and third world dictators. This is life. This is basketball. Pace has nothing to do with it. And despite our calls for everyone to just get along, world peace, and the rapture of scintillating beauty, ugliness and violence clot in our veins and reduce us to primal beasts marking our territories, like dogs, and yesterday, while watching Pitt and Butler, it was clear that no matter what Shoals says there are winners and losers in college basketball.




SIDENOTE: While I disagree with two statements Shoals made about the Tournament compared to the NBA, his larger premise about the former being a broken narrative and the latter being one consistent narrative is something I'm going to have to think about further, because I think it's more complicated than one is this and the other is that. Shoals believes that the NCAA Tournament relies on anarchy and chaos and that those who love it--love it for its unpredictability. However, doesn't the predictability of the NBA rob its narrative of a true exposition? And doesn't each Playoff series turn into a separate vignette or a labor of Hercules? I don't know. Just pondering. Eating some breakfast before moving on to the next, big thing.

2 comments:

Teach said...

one thing that differentiates the NBA from college ball, in terms of narrative, is that the NBA, from its beginning to end, feels like one great, historical narrative, which is demonstrated by Shoals' latest book, whereas, college bball may only have a plot line for a singular fanbase, a coach's career, a singular conference, or a singular rivalry. You have to follow one team from the beginning of the season to the end in college to have a sense of plot, or maybe even one school from decade to decade. In the NBA, you can tune in at any time and follow along and pretty much understand the whole League, from Mikan to Dwight Howard, etc.

March 20, 2011 at 11:30 AM
Teach said...

One reads like the internet. One reads like Scripture. I'm not sure that means a lack of narrative for one, just that it's more postmodern or something.

Okay, I'm just spewing up verbiage now.

March 20, 2011 at 11:32 AM

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