In Your Eyes…

It took four days of golf in Pinehurst to come to grips with a nagging feeling that was tearing at me for the past four weeks.

You see, I was bored by the NCAA tournament. In fact, I was probably 12-years old since I last took in so little action, and that is not an exaggeration.

This came to complete fruition (and tense thoughts) as I watched–without guilt–a bluegrass band rip it up while Scottie Reynolds was doing his best Eric Maynor impersonation.

Here’s where I landed: It is precisely why we crave inspiration in our lives that explains the reasons behind the belief that this year’s NCAA tournament was boring.

North Carolina played at a level that demands respect, awe, and admiration. The Tar Heels were very entertaining. Very good. Impressive. However they were not inspiring, as that is how everybody expected them to play. Ditto Michigan State.

It left college basketball with a rather hollow feeling. We even invented a Cinderella, Villanova, because Jay Wright’s team was the best we could muster in our search for inspiration.

The issue is that we were able to game theory this tournament, much like we are now able to do with movie plots. There have been so many variations of the same theme–renegade cop saves the world or Big 10 vs. ACC final–that we have become inured to the possibilities of the unpredicatable.

We watch and cheer and appreciate these teams; however it is decidedly standard stuff. There is nothing thrilling about variations of normal. In fact, the trouble with normal is that it only gets worse.

That’s why we need to be inspired; to see the underdog overcome odds; to get behind an unpredictable cause. There is a thrill in riding with the players whose names you don’t know, from the conferences outside the Big Six. It is uplifting, and that’s why even though we may never want them in the Final Four, they are critical to the Sweet 16. They don’t have to win it all, but it refreshing and fun and inspiring to see them win some.

It’s why most of the MSMers are so perplexed and conflicted with the NCAA tournament. These are the teams they cover and these are the teams that make it to the late rounds, but there is no story, no grab, no thrill. That’s why The Dagger, Folarin Campbell, Stewart Hare, Petey Sessoms–heck Steph Curry–get so much face time.

We want those guys.

They weren’t there, and whether there are six mid majors or 16 mid majors or two mid majors, we will get behind them. Because in a world of sameness, a world in which technology allows sameness the platform to be repeated, we want different.

We want to be inspired, and not just from our basketball teams.


Lots to get to as we ramp back up for the offseason: turbulence at VCU, Nor’easter takes a slap, scheduling conundrums.

We’ll get there.


~ by mglitos on April 28, 2009.

One Response to “In Your Eyes…”

  1. You’re right. Again. Of course, we come from a country founded by underdogs, so there’s a little of that love of the underdog in all of us (or it could be).

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