Hoosier Morning

1. HOOSIERS HQ

After leading by just four at halftime, Indiana ran away with it in the second half, defeating Stetson in their last game before a matchup with No. 1 Kenutcky next Saturday, Dustin wrote.

IU could use some of the magic of the ’87 predecessors who were honored at the game on Sunday, I wrote.

Rick Calloway hit the other “The Shot” in that ’87 championship run, Lynn wrote.

Fans gathered in droves to see their 1987 championship team on Sunday, Christy Mullins wrote.

2. INDIANA BASKETBALL

Danny Moore brought energy off the bench — a spark with a capital ‘S’, Crean called him — in Indiana’s victory on Sunday, Terry Hutchens of the IndyStar wrote.

The Hoosiers are 8-0 for the first time in the Tom Crean era, Connor O’Gara of the IDS writes.

Avi Zaleon of the IDS wonders if Indiana basketball will ever be back to the point that it was when the ’87 team won the national championship.

Halftime adjustments were the difference in Indiana’s win, according to Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall. As always, plenty more good video and other stuff from ITH following last night’s game. Check it out.

3. THE BCS

The SEC has yet another national title wrapped up as LSU and Alabama are set to rematch for the 2011 title, Ivan Maisel of ESPN writes.

An overview of every 2011-12 bowl game can be found here.

Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com says Oklahoma State didn’t keep good enough company to hang in the national title conversation.

Mike Huegenin of Yahoo! Sports ranks the bowls from best to worst for this year’s bowl season.

Pat Forde isn’t pissed about the national title game. Instead, he’s pissed that Virginia Tech is playing in the Sugar Bowl.

40 comments

  1. Why is the national champion chosen in such a way that is does not give but “certain” teams a chance to win it? It is the only collegiate team sport that the national champion is chosen this way.

  2. One advantage, at least I hope it’s an advantage, against Kaintuck is that I doubt the Cats players attach much significance to the game. Only 3 kids actually from Kentucky have even seen the floor for the Cats this year accounting for a whopping 9.3 points per game (one player accounts for 9). It’s a pro franchise. It doesn’t have much to do with Kentucky at all. We have a great infusion of out of state talent, but this is a Hoosier basketball team. This game means something to our guys.

  3. I can’t even keep up with Kentucky’s roster anymore. I have never seen such a prolific one and done factory. I have been hoping all along that experienced teams will trump Kentucky’s continual flow of lottery talent. Last year they made it a little too far into the tourney for my tastes. I hope the Butler-type teams of the last two years will always make sure that the Kentuckys of the world fall short.

    Here’s to hoping Calipari never wins another title with his recruiting philosophy.

  4. t-bone, I agree with you. How long will Kentucky fans tolerate top ranked teams with no national championships to show for it. Calipari is not building a program that can have longevity and be successful in the tournament. The same thing has happened the last two years. His teams have very little to no tournament experience and struggle when the “heat” is on in the later rounds of the tournament. I can’t see UK fans being happy with deep tournament runs and no titles to show for it.

  5. He goes after the best talent, he gets the best talent. Whether or not they are one-and-done’s is the problem of the NCAA and the NBA. Isn’t this basically Clarion’s argument? If there is breaking of no rules, then what are we bitching about? Is is illegal for the best talent to want to play where they perceive the best talent plays?

    This is no different than Duke, NC, OSU, MSU, etc. They have done nothing but rob Indiana and other classrooms of top talent. Cody Zeller is the first top-10 post player coming out of high school we have retained in this state for many years. We’ve grown so accustomed to top players leaving this state, we bitch when they decide to stay. All I ever heard on the blogs was how many wished Eric Gordon would have stayed with his first inclination and played for Illinois. I think we want the cornfed and small town image. We want this to be BaileyTown and Jordyville…and Cody Prairie…and Plump Acres.

    Name the last team that hasn’t recruited buckets of elite talent — a Calipari/Williams/Coach K/Izzo philosophy — and has won a championship? Coming close is not winning. Talent wins championships. All the credit to Butler for proving the the advantages of milking a 35-second shot clock and that a ball still has to go in the basket. But the law of averages will forever favor what the rules have allowed. The rules have created talent pockets and teams that are dominant in their appeal to attract the best.

    No different is the landscape for the distribution of wealth in this country..College basketball has become a land of the “haves” and “have nots.” A great portfolio is very attractive to young prima donnas that want the best means to increase their own stock. It’s about getting rich contracts — not rich memories and trophies.

    Indiana beating Kentucky is the poor beating the rich. It’s the working class taking it the robber barons. It’s the mill worker taking it to the banker. It’s the Milans beating the Muncie Centrals….Its the average offspring the slow and clumsy beating the athletic freaks of nature. It’s the homely students of the game beating those with their portraits on covers of sporting magazines and the movers and shakers going to Hollywood and Lakers’ lights. It’s the mop lady beating the mafia cheat. What choice do we have but to yell and scream of the injustice it all? They have taken our children, our few 5-star’s this state we have nurtured this game, and then with promises of spotlights and trophies corrupted the soul of their being. They come back to the birthplace of March Madness to parade them before our very eyes; our children of hoops, their own parents, they now despise.

  6. HFH,

    The state of Illinois owns the rights to “March Madness”, otherwise I liked your thoughts and agree with them.

    You’re getting as verbose as TTG and Chet. Keep it up and Downing’s 5th will jump you for something. Don’t ask me what, the guy is a maniac.

  7. Chet, good point about the dearth of Kentucky-bred players on their team. My fear is that Teague, from Indy, gets inspired, like Indiana-bred players who play elsewhere seem to do when they play IU. But then I have to worry about something.

  8. March Madness is also a registered trademark currently owned exclusively by the NCAA.(courtesy: Wikipedia)

    The first use of the term “March Madness” may be attributed to a poem written by an Illinoisan, but most basketball historians would argue that the “hysteria” surrounding the NCAA tournament and the coining of the phrase has its roots in Indiana basketball tradition. As also noted in Wikipedia:

    …the excitement surrounding basketball in Indiana, or more specifically the Indiana high school basketball tournament.[1] In part, the excitement stemmed from the inclusion of all tournament entrants into the same tournament, where a small town’s David might knock off a large city’s Goliath.

    It is safe to say that the terms “Final Four” and “March Madness” have grown out of the tradition of Hoosier Hysteria.

    You are right about Downing’s 5th..The guy is almost as wacky as the blogger named Sandusky Tom(I think he was a Wolverine fan from Michigan) that used to visit Scoop. Those two dudes must have went on a long camping trip.

  9. Wikipedia is often not 100% correct. The trademark of “March Madness” is held jointly by the NCAA and by Illinois high school basketball.

    I do not want to argue Illinois vs. Indiana or Ohio vs. Indiana. The term “March Madness” did not originate in Indiana. “Hysteria” might come from Indiana basketball, Indiana is a hysterical state, no argument there.

  10. Wikipedia gave credit to the term originating from a poem written in Illinois.

    Indiana ruined the true meaning of “madness” and a chance for a “Cinderella” making it to a ball they did not belong when they copied Illinois and destroyed their singular all-inclusive tournament and adopted the multi-class system. There is no true “March Madness,” to compares closely to the NCAA tournament, left in Indiana. There is no true “Final Four” or “one shining moment” for one champion.

    Illinois, in my humble and bias opinion, never had the beautiful tradition of high school basketball that used to be identified as sacred to Indiana; where sectionals champs and regional champs were not discriminated against for enrollment size or town population numbers…where a small town team battling against a Goliath could still have a chance. be it a slimmest of hope, the same equal prize. 5A…4A…3A…2A…1A. The Indiana state tournament means nothing anymore because some A-holes looked to the bordering states instead of into the heart and insanity our envied tradition and stole all the hysteria and madness away.

  11. “I hope Calipari never wins another title”

    Uh, am I forgetting something? Officially, the man has never even been to a Final Four.

  12. Illinois and Ohio had their Milan’s, no movies, that alone proves your point about the passion of Indiana basketball. As to tradition no, there was great tradition in Illinois and Ohio as well.

    While it is easy to agree with your “stole all the hysteria and madness away”. Ask the players today if they feel cheated because of the current system. Winning a championship is still quite an accomplishment. Who is the tournament for?

  13. I don’t believe that Illinois or Ohio have ever drawn a crowd of 44,000 to their championships even as the games were being nationally televised on ESPN, as Indiana has.

  14. I have no interest in Indiana state high school basketball tournaments anymore. If it’s solely for the players to feel warm and fuzzy because they have achieved something glorious and enduring when not beating the best teams in the state on one stage and at one Final Four, then that is there choice. I still have a hunch a kid like Zeller would have loved a shot at a North Central team at a state final.

    There are plenty of things in life bastardized and watered down that appeal to the clueless and eternally bored. Isn’t that why there’s blogging and XBox games and Harry Potter films? And no less than the example in point you mentioned: the popularity of a superficial and crappy movie like “Hoosiers.” That farce label upon our basketball history is not something I get teary-eyed over. There have been far better stories intertwined in the legacy of Hoosier hoops than a bunch of slow white kids standing around passing the ball against a team of supremely talented inner city kids that never got to play the game to their level of skill. The story of Oscar Robertson and Crispus Attucks is one of many that comes to mind.

    I don’t think Indiana fixed anything but the outcomes. Now the same old schools will frequently dominate within their respective classes. Gone is the hysteria and passion and the true wars between almost Goliaths and bigger than normal Davids. Indiana’s rich history was never about Pipsqueaks against the Monsters of Dominance. There were historic cross-city rivalries stolen and money savings of consolidation won over town identity and individuality. It’s all been watered down like a cheap fruity cocktail…Mommies and daddies can brag and give their kids blue ribbons for long hard trips in the car to Disney World for all I care.

  15. HfH scores big in this argument. At 70+ years old I’ve seen as much HS basketball as the late Tony Hinkle probably did looking for the Bobby Plumps, the Oscar Robertsons, the Rick Mounts and the George Pillows.

    I live in Illinois (now), at no point can you begin to compare anything to the 17,000 that would pack into the hangar that was Hinkle Fieldhouse every weekend in February-March (sectionals, regionals, semi-state and state finals, a Shortride-Crispus Attucks-Tech…Cathedral… Indy city tournament; the 8-10,000 gyms in Anderson, Muncie (Central) and New Cstle. Or the tension in a Kokomo-Anderson, Muncie Central-East Chicago Washington…or stood 200 feet up in the aire watching it in the ‘Crows Nest’ at the fieldhouse. And…you’d never get the feeling of a Milan or a Springs Valley high school (near West Baden and French Lick) with a Larry Bird.

    And, yes HhH is right when he says nothing good came out of the (fill in the blank)__ classes that forever took the feeling that being a “Hoosier” was special when a Milan or Franklin’s Wonder Five or little Spring Valley would be every bit the winner and champion over mighty Muncie Central, Indianapolis Tech or Gary Roosevelt.

    But Illinois or Ohio? Please…!!! Even Kentucky (sorry Chet) won’t dispute where the center of the Earth is in March. And, if you do, God…a big Hoosier Hysteria fan, gets very, very mad and makes it snow. (the spam protection asked me for the sum of twenty + eighty…a perfect 100; how much more of a sign do you need?)

  16. Great addition HfH. At some point in the 70’s some shrink must have written a thesis that when you have a champion you also have several losers and it is not good for the psyche to have losers, even in games. So they invented Class A, B, C, D, AA,BB,CC, DD (in Illinois they have a Class 8A or something like that). So now, everybody can be a winner and state champ…and no more Most Valuable Player, we have the Most Improved which, if you know anything about sports is the Up From Sucky Award to the worse kid on the team who can actually sit on the bench and earn the award because not once did he fall off the bench and hurt himself this year. And, his as deserving teammates (who really, really like their coach because he is funny and makes sure they get to play 2 minutes) share the bench can get a six foot trophy for qualifying for the quarterfinals of the regional semi-finals of Class DDDD. Now, someone ask me why America is falling apart.

  17. First of all, though much of my family is from there ,I despise Kentucky.
    Next, though I couldn’t agree more, every state is doing it. It’s unfortunate, but they want to make lots of winners.
    I feel lucky that all my own kids competed in 4A (the largest classification down here). Otherwise, IMHO, their accomplishments would have been questionable. Playing in the kiddie pool, as it were.
    I understand the rationale but I hate it. One of the suggestions down here was, after the state finals in the varying sports, the differing champs should compete. That would give a real champ.
    I’m for it.

  18. You’re absolutely right Chet. Illinois does not have anything even close to Indiana HS basketball. Tell you what it does have…a state football tournament (also divided into classes) but that does not have (write as ‘allow’) the Chicago schools because Lord help us we don’t want to urban kids at a game with the suburban schools.

    When they did, they used to draw 50,000 to Soldier Field (but I’m talking so long ago that they had not yet used the underground to Soldier Field for nuclear experiments yet).

    HfH…I actually think “Hoosiers” is a pretty good story. Marvin Wood (later of North Central in Indianapolis)was the ‘Hickory’ (Milan) coach and they did beat South Bend Central (I think that’s who it was)- a real David and Goliath story. The coach who gets in a near-fight with him, Basil (something or other)(maybe at Eminence, IN??) was still coaching some ten years ago. I think that’s where they filmed the sequence.

  19. Chet, completely agree. Though the math would have you believe that the best comes from the largest (more is better), I found that to be untrue…the story that has not been told and should be is Larry Bird’s. After leaving IU (he claims it was just ‘too big’ for him but RMK could be involved in that (perhaps). After he left, he went back to French Lick and actually got a job as a garbage man on a sanitation truck until the Indiana State U. coach went and reclaimed/recruited him…now that’s a story! (Can you visualize the scene with LB hanging out the side of the garbage truck and grabbing and umping the large garbage cans while the truck is still moving? Tell me that’s not another Hoosier Hysteria story. Yes, I agree…Oscar Robertson and Ray Crowe is one story. But so is Larry Bird and, in our case. for instance Terry Cole(RIP) and his family in Mitchell, Indiana.

    Yes…Indiana is a real special place with real special people who live real special stories. I learned that while traveling the world many times over the last 40 plus years. The only place that was better the second time I was there.

  20. HFH,

    I was not arguing with you, just trying to point out that high school basketball in other states is important. I enjoyed the back and forth.

    Chet,

    I agree about the Damon Bailey show.

    TTG,

    You really need to get your facts straight.

    The public league is involved in the state football tournament, in Illinois.

    The last public league team and the last Catholic league team, defeated in the playoff, go on to play in a game, called the Prep Bowl (I believe). This year it was played at Soldier Field. Attendance has been dwindling for this game, ever since the advent of the state tournament.

    The largest high school football crowd ever was 117,000 at Soldier Field for the Prep Bowl.

    The nuclear test lab is/was under the football field at the University of Chicago, not Soldier Field.

    Finally, your statement concerning race and the suburban teams not playing the city teams is misleading and false. You pass out grades on here concerning people’s posts, well I give you an F, as in you are a fake/false/failure, take your pick.

  21. I can only speak from my own experiences while growing up in Indiana. I won’t get involved in discussions about Illinois. Because I grew up about one hour outside of Chicago in NW Indiana, I do remember local Chicago TV(Channel 32..or Channel 11..could have even been WGN) televising Illinois state tournament basketball games. It seemed so dull to me..The crowds at these “class basketball” finals looked less fired up than a local rivalry game my small town school would have with the larger school team seven miles to the south.

    I really couldn’t have had it better as a kid…I got to watch Jack Brickhouse and the Cubs everyday after school..Nearly all my childhood sports idols played for Chicago teams. Gayle Sayers..”Butterbean” Love…Stan Mikita.

    But when it came to high school basketball, I was forever immersed in the incomparable energy of Indiana hoops. I would always check the newspapers come sectional time…I would check scores from every corner of the state…I would look at the match-ups…the lists and lists of teams all with their fates already determined..I would love to see the upsets and surprisingly close contests…the OT that would signify games that went overtime…the little towns I had never heard of giving schools with the bigger city name in front of their high school identity a run for their money. Jeffersonville, Connersville, Lafayette Jeff, South Bend Adams, East Chicago Roosevelt, Michigan City Elston..I learned the geography of the state through hoops.

    I won’t blabber on. I can only tell you that, at least for this dinosaur that grew up loving hoops, there was something magical about basketball in the state of Indiana. Communities were tied to their teams and the rivalries between neighboring towns and various segments within larger cities were insanely intense to put it mildly.

    Maybe with the Walmarts and the folding up of small towns across the rural lands and the consolidation of city schools came the invertible death of these great hoops stories and rivalries.

    It’s gone for good so now it’s just left to debate. The passage of time will make us all believe it was nothing more unique than what we are left with. I saw the fans going crazy in the small town my high school gymnasium when we played host to Michigan City Elston’s #1-rated team in the state. It’s a scene I’ll always remember. There was an honor in playing the best of the best. There is no passion in sport I’ve seen to date matching the madness, the love, the bonding of entire communities to five gods in short shorts just coming out of puberty on a varsity hoops team, the different flavors and unmatched diversity of what used to be the only “all members welcome” basketball tournament this side of the universe worth its weight in memories, gold, and complete hysterical enjoyment that used to occur in March in Indiana. That’s what we had. That’s what they stole. We are left with a “class” tournament with no class.

    Maybe I’m just an unsophisticated hick that thought I grew up with something special because, as a kid, I had never known anything else. We didn’t have XBox and Walmarts. We had newspapers stuffed into mailboxes and backboards nailed to barns. We had neighborhoods with a basketball goal in every driveway and cities with hoops playgrounds that weren’t drug dealer havens. We had a steel mills operating and mains street businesses flourishing. I shot hoops on a partial dirt and grass court my parents country home on summer nights until 10:00. It was a different time..You could attach yourself to things because you actually had so few diversions to take you away.

  22. Maybe along with the Walmarts, the folding up of small towns across the rural lands, and the consolidation of city schools, came the inevitable death of these great hoops stories and rivalries.

  23. HFH,

    I have ties and memories to Ohio and Illinois, then attended IU so I have seen a lot. Indiana High School BB was king, there is no arguing that.

    I agree with you about school consolidations, that really hurt the landscape of BB in Ohio and Indiana. There have been consolidations in Illinois but not as many I think.

    You have a thing about WalMart, I feel that ESPN has played a major role in the dwindling attendance problems that all high schools have and are experiencing.

    Diversions, have played a key role in smaller attendance. Even in the 60’s when I was in high school, there were many diversions but this was suburban Chicago, not rural Illinois, Indiana or Ohio.

    Still, the quality of play has improved and the quality of coaching has improved, at least I think or hope.

    The old days are gone. We look back with fond memories. Don’t you think that it is possible that students graduating since the advent of class tournaments look back with fond memories? I think that they do and they should.

    Have a good day!

  24. You have a thing for Tsao..at least, right now.

    I do sorta have a thing about Walmart. They are killers of small towns. Much like ESPN and the mind-boggling diversions; a plethora of junk sports we only buy into watching because it’s there. We’re gradually being taught how not to discern and differentiate. Go into any Walmart and watch a family fill their carts to the state of overflow with abundances of crap food at trinkets they don’t need. It’s a conspiracy of marketing wrapped into a cultural phenomenon that has made us believe because there is more to offer, we must indulge in all. Quality is disappearing in what we build…in what we eat..in what we watch.

    I’m not here to steal good memories. If you have a special memory of pushing a shopping cart for a day to get from one side your local Walmart to the other, I have no business taking that from you. Not your memories or any kid building his own “Call of Duty” memories while skipping school this day. Just felt like sharing thoughts. And just because someone makes a few possible errors of fact, or is a bit delusional in their exaggerated attachment to something once loved, does not warrant calling them a fake/failure/false. I doubt if any of us, except for Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump, are right all of the time.

    “To err is human.” To forgive even better.

  25. HFH,

    I have always felt that your WalMart stance was a socio-economic stance. I avoid WalMart. To blame WalMart for the decline of basketball is far fetched, unless you are using it as a socio-economic indicator.

    As for TTG, that’s my problem and I will deal with it my way.

    Not now, not ever will I indulge in political discussion on this blog. You go ahead though.

  26. In a sense, I think we were already in a political discussion. Wasn’t it politicians that destroyed Indiana’s basketball tradition? Maybe their intentions were good. I simply believe they stole the flavor and uniqueness something endearing to our state..They stole it away with the stroke of a pen.

    Walmarts may employ many people, offer supposed value based on the economics of buying power, and do good PR deeds with some of their profits afforded by the abuses of cheap foreign labor, but there is no denying, avoid it or shop ’til you drop, they have contributed to putting under many main streets across America.

    I wasn’t blaming Walmart for the decline of basketball..I’m sure it was a numbers thing..a cost savings for the IHSAA… and maybe some under-the-table contracts with developers that built mega-schools to replace three schools in three small adjoining towns into one.

    I still believe the passion for basketball is alive and strong in Indiana. Very strong at the college level…Yet, in terms of its roots, some of the uniqueness is gone. The decline of once vibrant small and mid-sized towns contributed to the decline of a sense of community. Some of the tradition and flavor of old rivalries got lost with the economic loss, the closings of businesses, consolidation of schools, and the disintegration of pride in shared community.

    Maybe I’m wrong. I’m o.k. with being wrong.

    You can handle your Tsao issue however the hell you want. I would get squashed between the might of such battles of condescension and intelligence. I shall be quiet now and eat my doughnuts I purchased from Walmart this morning. Enjoyed talking with you. No hard feelings? Take care.

  27. While basketball wasn’t my game (you had to be really, really good to make the team) I have so many great memories of high school basketball.
    My freshman year at Jeffersonville was our last year playing at the cavernous old fieldhouse (which, I believe, IU Southeast renovated and still plays in). We had a Mr. Basketball (Mike Flynn), who was a great guy BTW, even if he did go to KY. He would later be on the cover of SI after leading the gnats to an upset of IU.
    I was dating a cheerleader at Floyd Central and attended the Final Four and watched them put up something like 88 points in a losing effort to a ridiculously talented East Chicago Washington team.
    The next year we made it to the Final Four losing to eventual champ Connersville.
    My junior year we were the #1 ranked team in the state but lost in the sectional to eventual champion New Albany (pretty tough 4 team sectional).
    My senior year we lost the state championship to Fort Wayne Northrup in 2 overtimes. The starting PF for each team, Wayne Walls and Walter Jordan, would go on to start for four years opposite each other at Purdue.
    For four straight years the winner of our 4 team section made the Final Four. I made three trips. Three years we were eliminated by the eventual state champ, twice at the Final Four.
    It was tremendously fun.

    I refuse to shop at a WalMart. Remember when Sam Walton championed ‘buy American? That idea died with him. They are one of the single most damaging entities to our country and their business practices encourage sweatshops and child labor abuse around the world.

    Blog feuds are silly. Hoosier Clarion and I disagree about all kinds of thing but I respect him. He’s just misinformed sometimes. We wouldn’t be posting on here if there wasn’t something that we share common beliefs and feelings about.

  28. I was curious about something…Why do you think this Downing’s 5th guy is a “maniac?” Since your comment was directed at me, as if I was going to be “jumped,” I would assume it’s o.k. to ask. I’ve never had any problems with a blogger named Downing’s 5th. Where does he post?

    There’s your condescension you big A-hole.

  29. HFH,
    A couple of points about your posts. Zeller’s team last year could not beat a Warsaw team that only had one mid major talent in Nic Moore. There is a huge disparity in the talent level from a 3a to 4a. I’m not saying it would have been impossible for Washington to win. I’m saying it would have been extremely difficult. And I would be for the Hatchets since I am from there.
    I agree with you about the lack of passion for basketball in Illinois. The reason is because it’s a football state. I studied for the ministry in Chicago, and pastored for six years in Illinois. So, I spent 10 yrs watching local high school sports. Basketball was not attended as much as football. Illinois people are crazy about their football. Back in 05 when Illinois made it to the NCAA Final, nobody and I mean nobody in my church talked about it. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t say it out loud, but thought, “what’s the matter with you people? You are playing for the National Championship tomorrow night.” Yet when the Bears played the Colts for the Super Bowl one of men joked to me that if the Colts won the game I might not want to be at church the next Sunday because I was a Colts fan.

  30. That is the beauty of the NCAA tournament and was the beauty of what used to be the best high school tournament in the land. In most respects, the NCAA tournament couldn’t compare to Indiana’s because, despite the most dismal of regular season records, a high school team in an Indiana tournament(prior to the class system)could still have a shot at complete redemption and shock the most favored opponent come tournament time. Records meant nothing. You’re invited like it or not. If you want to pack it in, then go ahead. If you want to show the big boys you don’t wear sissy pants, then play your ass off until the bitter ugly end.

    You are basically reaffirming the points I defended in keeping something so special and unique to Indiana basketball.

    At any given sectional match-up there were was more than plenty of what appeared to be lopsided contests on paper that could turn into storybook barn-burner wars and the making of a small town hero could emerge..Or, and underdog city team that played a flawless game down to the wire against a heavily favored powerhouse rival from the snooty side of the tracks that shellacked them in 9-out-of-10 their last meetings…But there’s always that shot…that game to get up for…that chance to show every butt in the stands that you have been measured too prematurely..that you had four quarters of perfection on this night..and you could play for something everlasting in a world that presumes you do not belong. That’s the rare hope that basketball can afford rarely applicable in any other sport.. a chance for five guys to prove that could play with anyone. Sometimes there was one difference-maker that opponents could not stop. Sometimes there was just inexplicable divine intervention and a lid on the basket for the guys that showed up with most the talent. Even with buckets and the mops ready to go on to the next game, they could find that could get the cold water splashed back in the face, and see that all the advantages still don’t make for a winning hand..Sometimes it’s just not in the cards …All the supreme arrogance stepping onto the court looking ahead to the next game could find that their lack of respect for the game could find them dining on the humble pie of elimination.

    And that’s possibly the biggest lesson we really didn’t touch on. The all-inclusive tournament taught respect and opened eyes for the kids at traditionally dominant high school programs..No greater lesson in life to show a king that his thrown should never be taken for granted and you are only as strong as your weakest link on your team. We watered all those lessons in favor of the happy-go-lucky comfort a perceived near-equal in the ring for our youngsters battles. We stole the chance five kids that believed in the power of their collective efforts could be the Buster Douglas on one shocking night to take down the Mike Tyson of hoops.

    The more you attempt to tell me the safety of happy memories should prevail, the more it’s obvious, in my humble view, just how many values and lifelong lessons were lost.

  31. Jay Gregg- you are right, the atom lab was under the UofC field. My mistake, somehow I had the two confused as one. I used 50,000 as a number for attendance to tone down what I believed was an exaggerated number. (Though many sources say it reached 100,000).

    Reread my post. On the third and more important point, I wrote ‘urban’ not ‘race’. Race is what you were thinking about. Nevertheless, I believe the playoff attempts to whittle the CPS number down before the teams meet suburban schools and the reason was ‘political’ and involved concerns with ‘safety’. But, I agree…I made two errors of fact, thus I’ll give myself a D-. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I do agree with the tone of the conversation about the Indiana State Tournament…one of the 2-3 sports that set the standard for my original bucket list of Sports Events to Attend Before I Die. It included and, I’m glad to say, I fulfilled having attended several sectionals,regionals, semi-states and finals (along with Indy City Tournament finals) at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse. Nothing like that, or watching entire towns drive into 46th. St in huge columns of decorated cars.

    That was a different time, when people loved their sports and did not gag on their bitterness.

  32. Chet, I totally reject your chirping “He’s just misinformed sometimes”. Really? If so, it is not anything of great consequence. You need to clean your mirror.

    I agree the diminished attendance of Indiana men’s HS BB games has no doubt been affected by class and consolidation. I am not as sure about WM and/or ESPN. But Men’s BB having to the share scheduling of week-end nights with women’s BB for game dates has cut attendance and the heart out of interest in our state sport. Bailey and the boys put 40k+ in the Hoosier Dome for a championship game not ????? and the girls.

  33. HC, it was meant as a good natured tweak. The point being that we don’t have to agree on everything in order to be civil with each other on the Scoop.

    Sorry, I thought you would get it.

  34. Chet, Correct, I did not take it as intended only because you addressed it to others and not to me. It is now over the dam.
    How about the issue of sharing week-end nights with the girls BB games. I think it is significant in the decreasing attendance at boys games. I’m thinking why was it not good for girls games on week nights to suffer lower attendance but it is good for boys games to suffer lower attendance when scheduled on those same week nights. Baffling. Consolidation and class BB respectively cannot and will not be reversed but scheduling adjustments is an action that does not have to be a negative issue for boys BB attendance.

Comments are closed.