March Madness 2009
February 21, 2009 10:44 AM   Subscribe

March Madness is less than a month away, and sports fans are snapping up tickets to watch men’s and women’s NCAA basketball teams battle their way to the Final Four. Projected brackets are going online, with speculation about likely picks and the prospects of finding a Cinderella team in the field this year. Cheerleaders get their moment on screen before commercial breaks, but should these student athletes be considered members of a sports team, too? On court fashion generates debate, and mascots range from the obvious to the really odd. PETA continues its crusade against the use of live animals, but one overriding question remains: “What the hell is a Saluki?”
posted by woodway (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It's a dog, isn't it? Looks like a hippie greyhound?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:52 AM on February 21, 2009


No, the overriding question remains: "What the hell is Billy Packer smoking?"
posted by billysumday at 11:04 AM on February 21, 2009


Everybody knows what a Saluki is, don't they?
posted by ardgedee at 11:06 AM on February 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


What, I'm the only SIU alum on this board? The Saluki was bred in ancient Egypt and the southern tip of Illinois is called Little Egypt, so an Egyptian racing dog makes a good mascot for the University, no?
posted by SeeAych4 at 11:52 AM on February 21, 2009


Sooo...ummm...are ALL aspects of march madness covered in this thread now. Well there goes my spring contribution to mefi.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:02 PM on February 21, 2009


The overriding question remains:

how long before anyone notices how far the game has deteriorated, since any player with the talent to play professionally now plays one year at most in college, and that only because he's forced to by a silly rule designed to prop up the dying college game.

how long before the "good players have to go to college" myth is finally shattered by the cold hand of reality (Bryant, James, Garnett, zero years in college, not to mention the tons of Euro stars). How long before all the game's boosters and blowhard coach's-pal announcers can longer prop up the ridiculous idea that the "kids" (as they insist on calling the grown, over 18 men who play the game) are something more than unpaid labor to make them rich?

how long before we can get rid of the myth that a young black guy can't possibly succeed unless he's "taught" by a dictatorial old white father figure who makes him work for free and hold the power to essentially ruin his life at any point by yanking his scholarship and "running him off?"

How long before someone has the common sense revelation that you can go to college anytime, but you can only be an athlete when you're young, so the smartest course for someone interested in both would be to go to the NBA first?


I used to be a big college basketball fan, I really did. Maybe I'm just bitter because my team sucks now. But it really is a bullshit system.


I mean, yay Terps!
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:16 PM on February 21, 2009


GO BADGERS!
posted by kldickson at 12:21 PM on February 21, 2009


Work for free? When he coached Georgetown, John Thompson pointed out that athletes got an opportunity for a quite expensive education, plus travel and some food. If said athletes prefer the dollars that some make in the NBA, well, that is their choice.
Go Portland State Vikings!
posted by Cranberry at 12:49 PM on February 21, 2009


drjimmy11: Methinks you should probably look at some statistics regarding how many "kids" try to go straight to the NBA or drop out of college early and end up not making it. Or how many "kids" get a free college education at the 250+ schools that don't send players to the NBA, or whose programs don't make a ton of money for their school. Your argument includes Lebron James and Kobe Bryant but leaves out the 95% of players we never hear about, who think they can make it on their own and fail. And you're seriously pulling the angry old white coach cliche? Look around, friend. Many coaches are African-American, and at programs where the head coach is white, look down the bench - most assistant coaches are African-American. And Bobby Knight, if you haven't noticed, doesn't coach anymore. But if you want to rail on the 80's, that's cool.
posted by billysumday at 12:58 PM on February 21, 2009


one overriding question remains: “What the hell is a Saluki?”

I think more people could answer that one than — speaking of Coach Thompson — "What is a Hoya?"

"Harrison High School, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, is the only other institution in the country licensed to share this name."
posted by LeLiLo at 1:40 PM on February 21, 2009


Go Tigers Go!
posted by Bwentman at 1:42 PM on February 21, 2009


drjimmy11, Maryland doesn't suck too bad. They just beat the Tar Heels.
posted by netbros at 3:01 PM on February 21, 2009


WTF? I'm a Saluki! [hi SeeAych4]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:09 PM on February 21, 2009


There are plenty of strange nicknames, but the Hoyas use a bulldog as their mascot; the Tar Heels are rallied by a ram. Salukis dress up as salukis. You've got to concede that it's an unusual mascot, however valiant it may be.
posted by woodway at 3:42 PM on February 21, 2009


Fight fiercely, Geoducks!
posted by The White Hat at 5:45 PM on February 21, 2009


how long before anyone notices how far the game has deteriorated, since any player with the talent to play professionally now plays one year at most in college, and that only because he's forced to by a silly rule designed to prop up the dying college game.

We all noticed it, and yet it hasn't hurt the game that much. For every Kevin Durant there's a Tyler Hansborough. Remember, too, there are only 60 draft picks, of which roughly 25% are being used on foreign players. Maybe Blake Griffin would be riding the Thunder's bench in OKC under the old rules (or maybe playing up the road for the Tulsa 66ers), but from an NBA standpoint, having him play for Oklahoma this year is better since he's getting court experience he wouldn't get playing streetball in Tulsa or getting scrub minutes during OKC losses. And trust me, every OU fan is happy he's playing for them right now.

how long before the "good players have to go to college" myth is finally shattered by the cold hand of reality (Bryant, James, Garnett, zero years in college, not to mention the tons of Euro stars).

Just as soon as the NBA Development League becomes a true farm league and not just some place to dump marginal college players and high school draft washouts.

how long before we can get rid of the myth that a young black guy can't possibly succeed unless he's "taught" by a dictatorial old white father figure who makes him work for free and hold the power to essentially ruin his life at any point by yanking his scholarship and "running him off?"

Just as soon as you step into this dark alley right over here. John Thompson, John Chaney, Tubby Smith, and Nolan Richardson would like to have a word with you.
posted by dw at 6:41 PM on February 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or with all the shit going on in the country and in the world -- this March seems like they'll be less madness...at least, scalped tickets will definitely be cheaper.
posted by chaostheory at 6:57 PM on February 22, 2009


Enjoy your conference tournaments, ladies and gentlemen. I regret being the bearer of bad news but unless you support the Tar Heels, you are already on the road to perdition and shall wallow in the bitter dregs of defeat.
posted by woodway at 3:07 PM on March 13, 2009


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