By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Damn you, NBA lockout and all involved.
I’m done taking sides in the matter—I’m mad at the owners and players equally. The former for just being rich, fat, old white men and rich, fat, old Michael Jordan. The latter for handling this like a basketball made of pudding.
Pro basketball—great basketball—is out of my life through Christmas and Boxing Day, likely through Kwanzaa, and perhaps through Azerbaijani Martyrs Day, if even a season at all. And, yes, I said good basketball.
College basketball is not great basketball. It’s good, at times. There are some very good players who will be very good players in the NBA soon, a few even great, but overall the game is inferior to the pros. And you can come at me with the “college players try harder and play defense and play as a team and do it for the love of the game and I wear the jersey of a 19-year-old kid and hate my life” garbage, and while most of that is a short bus argument, I can just volley with the “talent and basketball intelligence—period” argument.
But I don’t want to have that argument with people who enjoy inferior products. Can’t win against a person who would rather have a kid in law school who loves the law over a great, greedy big shot attorney.
I do, though, want to remedy a sports problem I have. Without the NBA, I have a basketball void in my life.
So I guess NCAA hoops will have to be the desperate skanky chick that fills the void temporarily while I cross my fingers that my NBA girlfriend will see the error of her ways and come back to me. And she will. She has to. She can’t find better than me. Right?
Luckily the WNBA season isn’t going on right now, so I don’t even have to consider that as an option at this Last Call I find myself stumbling through.
But here’s the rub: in order to get into college basketball I figure I need a team to hitch my wagon to. No way will I grow to enjoy a sport if I try to take in the entire game as a nonpartisan fan. I need a team to grow on me.
This isn’t the first time I’ve ventured into rooting for a new team in a sport I didn’t care about. During the last World Cup I tried to get into soccer for once. My surname happens to also be a very common name in Ghana, and I’ve accumulated several Ghanan Facebook friends who are very nice people. They asked me to root for their team. I figured why not, and thus became an honorary Ghana Black Star for a brief time. I still don’t like soccer, though.
So who does a twenty-nine-year old guy just walking into “not just because I’m in an office pool” viewership of a sport choose to root for?
No Mountain or Western Time Zone schools. I’m not staying up for them and never know what channel they’re on anyway. No tiny schools that only serve to bust brackets because they aren’t even on TV (and I’m not buying any damn college hoops cable package). UConn cost me about $600 in bracket winnings when they beat Duke in 1999, which to a 17-year-old is $6 million, so screw them. And screw Duke and that pompously dumb fan base, too.
If I want to be true to my football loyalties (and, yes, I find NFL football to be better than college football as well), then I would root for Notre Dame. But most guys who play basketball for the Irish always look like guys who need a punch in the face just for the hell of it.
Since I hate the farce that is the NCAA, I am often happy when it gets exposed for being exactly the opposite of what it claims to be. So I have no problem with dirty teams, especially really good dirty teams. So… Kentucky then?
I’ve never been much of a Big Ten fan or Notorious B1G or whatever it’s called now. Even when I attended the University of Iowa, the basketball players mostly were jerks. Yes, Luke Recker, Reggie Evans, and the gang were mostly unsavory characters. But I should gravitate toward a team in the Midwest’s major conference, right? I have never liked the University of Illinois sports, so Northwestern, perhaps?
While on the topic of geography, Chicago’s basketball team (for better or for worse) is DePaul. I enjoy the game calls of Zach Zaidman and Laurence Holmes on 670 The Score when I need the ambient noise to keep me sane while dealing with the idiots who order pizzas for delivery. And I know Laurence is a huge, huge fan of mine, and Zach is a fellow Ginger. The Blue Demons just might make sense.
I have personal ties to the Augustinian religious order, and Villanova is the only D-1 Augustinian school in the country.
As a kid, I owned two college basketball jerseys: Alonzo Mourning’s #33, which was pretty solid, and Allen Iverson’s #3, which was flat out pimp. Georgetown has to get consideration then.
Man, I can’t decide. And since my luck with whichever team I pick will inevitably be mush, I have decided to let you, the readers, pick what team I will root for this year. Please cast a vote for one of teams below, and whichever school gets the most votes by Noon Friday will be able to say it has Tim Baffoe as a part of its fan base.
Okay, I’m really going to try to like college basketball. Go ______________! Until the lockout ends! As long as the Blackhawks or Bears aren’t on!
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.