Sunday, February 5, 2012

Things I Don't Get

Every day I wake up, get going, shuffle to, through and back from my day at least a little  more baffled than I was when I finished the previous day. This has nothing to do with how gripping or riveting my typical day is. They mostly aren't. My days are not real complex either. The work part of my day is pretty much as expected, unsurprising. The news, weather and personal business stuff is usually expected stuff as well. I, like many others out there look to my sports as source of if not drama then certainly entertainment.

I have to admit that as comfortable as I am with my spectator sports of choice, there are a few details I just don't get. Most are so minute in significance that I tend to blow by them as fast as I notice them. But nonetheless, over time these elements of my favorite, most relaxing times keep stacking up. The questions come at me at a rate doubling the answers. So I struggle to come to grips with these life altering, intellectual stumpers. I need help, and the only way to get help is to share. So this is the basketball edition of a few things I REALLY don't get.....

1) Why does EVERY single college basketball coach wear a suit? At a recent UW-Stanford game every non player on both benches wore a black or dark gray suit. The Cardinal appeared to be coached by pall bearers. And maybe if coaches wore Khakis, polo shirts and Adidas they wouldn't have to be paid $2.5 million per year.  And don't they have, ya know, managers anymore? If they do, they are all wearing suites too!

2) Why do basketball players slap the shooters hand after he shoots a free throw, even when he misses?. Husky watchers see a tremendous amount of hand slapping. This slapping (kind of a very cool, sloppy mid level five) goes on endlessly. The hand slaps appear equally uninspired regardless of whether they follow a made or missed free throw. Why slap at all? Maybe it is just out of sensitivity to Aziz N'Diaye.

3) Do the stats guys at hoops games really try to keep track of turn overs? The USC-Husky game was as sloppy as they get and with 6:30 left they had the Dawgs with 14 TO's. Really felt like that many in the first half. Had to be some reason the Dawgs had 29 in the first half against a really weak team.

4) Does anything really constructive happen during a time out in a college hoops game? Hard to believe it if it does. No less than 2-3 guys in those suits (see above # 1) , waving their arms all talking at the same time (see any family dinner scene in any Woody Allen movie) directing these blustering, bombasting ravings at five young men. Those five young man are so exhausted they can hardly sit up let alone listen to the rantings of the suits. Oh, and if they tried real hard it is doubtful they could actually hear anything anyway. But watch those coaches, every time out they go off like Indian reservation Roman candles.

5) Coaches also often spend much of the time out time talking to each other. As silly as this seems it may well be to the benefit of the players for the coaches to just stay away during these breaks.
Whatever the reason and regardless of what they are talking about, I really don't understand this either.

6) I do NOT get at all why a foul committed by an offensive player while dribbling or shooting the ball is called a "player control foul". The player who commits the foul is obviously NOT in control. So yes, the correct term would be "player OUT of control foul".

7) Why oh why do some referees put their arm around a player's waist when he is talking to the player during a break in the action? I am sure the ref is explaining some nuance of officiating but I have never watched this with any comfort. In this day and age I would think these guys would just strive to keep their hands off each other. I am sure it is a harmless gesture of respect and friendship but the two inevitably end up looking like badly mismatched prom dates. I don't get why they cant talk face to face. Hands off.

8) Male cheer leaders

9) With today's technology why do cameramen (or women) have to sit on the baseline two feet from the action putting their equipment (personal AND camera) at serious risk? EVERY single game I go to involves at least one occurrence of a 6'8" 240 pounder stumbling out of bounds under the basket jamming a camera through the eye and into the frontal lobe of the camera man. It is really surprising serious injuries don't result from these collisions on a regular basis. During the timeouts the cheer leader close ups are plenty, avoid those flying power forwards.

I guess that covers it for now. There is so  much I DO get that this little stuff is really of no consequence. But  after 50+ years of watching and participating in hundreds and hundreds of games it seems I should really get everything. I don't. 

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