stars and planets realign


Those of you who are sports-repellent may find relief that this may be my last NCAA basketball-related post until autumn, but I can’t let the night go by without relishing in the special schadenfreude that is Duke University losing. I absolutely loathe seeing them play, so I’ve managed to miss every dook game except the ones where they play us – and tonight was no exception.

It wasn’t until my curiosity got the best of me when I began downloading the score on my Treo with about five minutes left in the game. Tessa and I were in a Mexican restaurant on Pico, and instead of eating, I was hitting the ‘refresh’ button over and over while giving her updates. I swear to god, there’s no better way to experience a dook loss. All of the ill will without actually having to see their players.

Much will be made of J.J. Redick’s horrendous performance in this (and, for that matter every) tournament of his career, and I know a few die-hard Tar Heels who even expressed a tiny bit of pity when he fought back tears on the bench. I’m no alabaster-hearted monster, but fuck that. Those were not tears of tragedy, they were tears of “denied entitlement,” the same tears cried by every dook player in their last game (Carrawell, Wojo, etc).

Who feels pity for the mid-major seniors playing for teams like Southwest Missouri State, who foul out of their last game, knowing their job prospects lie barely north of service management? Don’t shed a tear for Redick; a couple million in the NBA as a four-year journeyman flameout will put the smile right back on his face.

And hats off to LSU, who obviously brought it, and brought it together. I find it immensely satisfying that a school from Louisiana, a state battered by a hurricane and left for dead by our administration, beat Duke University’s squad, helmed by an unmitigated jerk who uses Koach K Kourt to raise money for Republicans.

K himself now goes on to coach the Americans in the Olympics, which, as I’ve said before, is why I’m pulling for Croatia. Unless Antawn Jamison is on the team, and then I’ll be torn. Frankly, I don’t see the value in K’s two coaching edicts:

1. Win at all costs.

2. Fuck you.

He has been happy to throw his kids and his assistant coaches under the bus in order to solidify his draconian empire (see Randolph, S. and Gaudet, P.); he played Redick and Shelden Williams 39 minutes a game this year while sacrificing the careers of his blue-chip bench. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to play for that guy, but the Kool-Aid seems to be strong over there in Derm.

Pity? Whatever. Tessa hates it when she sees the glee I take in dook’s misfortune, but you know what? They have always stood for everything I stand against. You can’t appreciate the singularity of your convictions unless you have an antithesis. The Carolina Way is my faith, and every religion has its Devil.