I like to say a lot of mean things about UNC and Duke. Lots of people do. Usually, fans of these programs will point to jealousy as the reason for all of the hate-filled vitriol. Sometimes, even I wonder: why do I hate UNC and Duke?
Sure, Greg Paulus is an annoying little chump who is a mediocre point guard at best. Of course Coach K is a smug a-hole who can do no wrong. There’s no doubt that the “Cameron Crazies” are the most obnoxious and annoying batch of nerds ever assembled. I mean, cheer sheets? C’mon. The adulation for Tyler Hansbrough, while somewhat deserved and not necessarily any fault of the player, is vomit-inducing at times.
But the real reason, I’ve concluded, is evidenced above. The media. Good gracious, the media. Mike Patrick, Dick Vitale, Billy Packer, etc. etc. etc.—the list goes on. Without those guys, Paulus is another slow-footed chump who lost his starting job to a better player and Hansbrough’s…well, Hansbrough’s pretty damn good. Still, talking heads exalt Duke and Carolina to a status that transcends all of college basketball. So much, in fact, that CBS believes three months before the teams meet at Cameron a countdown must exist on their college basketball home page. Otherwise, we could forget when the sole powers of college basketball (a title each in the last ten years) will clash with the ACC regular season crown on the line!
This must have been a clause in Packer’s severance package or something. At this rate, we’ll soon see a scholarship fund sponsored by CBS/ESPN in Paulus’ name, given to the high school senior who best exemplifies: grit, playing with a passion, turning the ball over, slapping the floor on arbitrary and oftentimes meaningless defensive possessions, hustling to the bench during timeouts, pushing people after the play, egregious flopping, sometimes draining off-balanced, ill-advised threes, getting beat on defense, and resetting the offense because you can’t finish on your own around the basket, even though the defense is grossly out of position.
It’s a pretty specific skill set.
MARK YOUR CALENDERS!!! (Sportsline)