Midnight Blogger here to voice a complaint: NCAA Division I College Basketball is broken. What was arguably the best sport in the land in the 80-90’s’s is now just a shell of it’s former self. Do you remember when Big Monday was a big deal? When a dreary January Monday would suddenly transform into something special with a Big East, Big 10 and Mountain West (UNLV) must see triple header? I was raised on Big Monday. Because of Big Monday, I was barely granted admission into an average out of state public university. Because of Big Monday, I never had a date in high school. Because of Big Monday, I developed a rare sleeping disorder where I would unconsciously jump out of bed and post up my dresser in the middle of the night. Okay one of those is a fib but seriously, who studied when Stevie Thompson and Sherman Douglas were on TV? I’m proud of my decision dammit.
Fast Forward 25 years: Tonight I saw a Big Monday battle between UNC/Syracuse in the TV guide and I glossed over it as if it were a televised mano a mano high stakes poker game between a fat white guy chomping on a stogie and a Asian woman in shades with a startling amount of cleavage peeking out. I was bothered by my lack of interest. So after embracing this concern and practicing a tranquil 20 minute mindfulness session, here are three easy fixes to bring the game back to the forefront.
One: Stop realigning the leagues every 3 years. Enough of the money grab from these University presidents. Something isn’t right when the only people in the country who know what league the top 50 teams play in are the Vegas oddsmakers. Syracuse in the ACC? Maryland in the Big 10? Stop it. Just stop it. I want my rivalries back.
Two: Enough already with the TIMEOUTS! There are now 8 automatic TV timeouts and 5 (One 60 sec and four 30 sec) for each school per game. I’ll repeat, 8 soul crushing, flow killing TV stoppages of the action. That’s just plain greedy on the NCAA’s part if you ask me. How many dollars from Little Caesars and Appleby’s do these guys need to keep the lights on over at corporate headquarters? And as a fan, how do you expect me to stay engaged in a close game with 18 timeouts? Jiminy Christmas the game is only 40 minutes long. This isn’t football. These kids aren’t even breaking a sweat. Why it’s the poor kids standing in the student section and the cheerleaders who are getting the workout. I’d like to see a Fitbit cardio battle between the power forward on the floor and the kid doing cartwheels in the Gator mascot suite on the sidelines.
So, if the NCAA has to keep their 8 TO’s to pay the bills, then the schools only get 1 TO for the entire game. I know that these are amateur athletes in a teaching environment, but come now, let these kids learn to be creative and resilient under fire and figure it out on their own. Everybody will benefit. And think of the added excitement it will bring watching the poor $3,000,000/year coaches sweat over when to use their lone TO.
Three: The NCAA, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA Players Association must broker a deal that requires a kid to play 3 full seasons of college ball or be 21 in order to enter the draft. I know I’m a horrible, un-American, Commie rat bastard for taking away a young man’s right to earn a living for he and his family, but think back to the days when kids stayed three years. Ewing will always be synonymous with Georgetown. Jordan with UNC. Larry Johnson with Vegas. College ball was more exciting than the NBA, which is no longer the case. Today’s good college teams are decimated annually in the draft and as a fan, it’s hard to get used to an entire new cast of characters every season.
Case in point: Wouldn’t you like to see a Kansas team this season with McLemore, Wiggins and Embiid on the floor. Or how about this Duke team with Parker and Hood. Arizona with Drew Gordon. Kentucky with Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel and James Young. Michigan with Stauskas, McGary and Glenn Robinson III. Shoot even a UCLA team with Shabazz, Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson would be fresh.
Enough. Somebody make it happen.
Midnight Blogger Out