By Dan Bernstein
If the Butler Bulldogs win the national title, will they please leave?
It makes no difference to me which team cuts down the nets in Houston tonight, and which team’s cheerleaders drip tears down their logo-stickered cheeks. Whichever.
But something has to make this stop. It’s two years in a row, now, of the same, forced story, and it has officially reached the point where there’s nothing more to be said about the little school that could and all their wholesome, awesome, all-American wonderfulness.
I have nothing against any of the individual players, coaches or fans, since I don’t know enough about any of them to formulate such feelings. I haven’t bothered to find out much more than has already been shoved down our throats – the mainstream media feeding-tube fattening us like French geese with tales of humble Hinkle Fieldhouse and the latest, plucky cast of under-recruited kids that nobody else wanted.
Congrats. My liver is foie gras. Harvest it before I flip on the game tonight. Enjoy with a Sauterne or a Chateauneuf du Pape, depending on your mood, and the preparation.
At least VCU had the common courtesy to exit the stage just as they were crossing into overexposure. Their wacky bandleader and midget point guard were fun and cute, and their coach spazzing out on the floor was worth a chuckle, and it was enough. They can go back to wherever, and Shaka Smart can get a big job with a big school for big money.
Here’s Butler coach-bot Brad Stevens on why they are just so gosh-darn good:
“It’s a values-based organization driven by a mission and a vision like every other business in the world or every other collective group in the world,” he said. “I think it begins with selflessness, and certainly accountability is very important, humility is very important. You kind of go through those founding principles.”
Not nauseated yet? Ok, wait…it gets better.
“The only way we address ‘The Butler Way’ with our team is in this regard: People know they’ve seen and felt something special, they just can’t put their finger on it.”
I can. It’s the “mute” button. Just play the damn game and shut up. Make shots, play defense, take care of the ball, hit your free throws.
I’d be happiest if both teams lost tonight, really, since there’s little at all to like about Jim Calhoun’s dirty program, save for its ability to churn out a steady stream of decent NBA talent. The night will end with somebody being called the National Champions despite the fact that not a single person believes it’s actually the country’s best college basketball team.
Butler makes the final four again, makes the finals again, and the same stories are churned out, again. Didn’t we do this already? It’s all the trite, warmed-over pap from a year ago that’s just being re-run with a couple names changed.
Underdog to a powerful opponent, Indiana basketball tradition, wet-behind-the ears coach untainted by the evil around him, easy parallels to “Hoosiers,” we get it.
Win, fine. Lose, fine. Enough.
The Butler Away.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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