The A-Line It is what it is, unless it is not
Currently at 354 posts / 50 categories / 530 comments / feed / comments feed

Just Like Football

The shouts came from the John’s upper deck. After Virginia Tech had concluded its stirring comeback over the Hoos, about the only thing that could be heard were the chants of ‘Just like football.’ They could have been referring to the entire ACC basketball season.

As ACC honcho Little Johnny Swofford attempts to deal with ESPN having transferred conference football cash to the SEC and essentially telling the league to take a hike, Little Johnny has been desperately trying to promise obscure cable channels that the Canes will indeed be Back, THIS TIME. The latest bright idea around Grandover has been to enable ESPN to devote even more television time to the Biggie E by linking the lousy and minuscule-rated football package with what had been the league’s signature sport of basketball. This at a time when the ACC’s basketball programs are looking to copy the football ones with astounding displays of mediocrity. And so it goes in the brave new post-expansion ACC, where expansion is going to turn out to have benefited exactly one school.

The chortling Tech fans in the John serenading the Hoos scurrying out as fast as humanly possibly had the result correct if little else. After all, when was the last time the Hoo football team had any late lead against the Tech one, much less one of double digits? While Hoos stampeding for venue exits while time still remained on the clock is a familiar one to those who attend Tech-Hoo games in the Smithsonian, it was a relatively-rare one for the John. The Hoos have managed to win one of their last three home basketball games against Tech, which, compared to algroh’s record, constitutes wild success.

Alas, Tech could not build on their Hooville success, or even sustain it. Given the opportunity to do something about their bad RPI and establish themselves in the upper portion of the ACC standings, the Hokies came out and promptly Sethed-up the Canes game. It was this year’s first Seth Special as the Tech coach had finally put together an OOC so bad that the Hokies were able to avoid the embarrassing out-of-conference losses that Tech fans had come to expect. Still, it was a very bad loss indeed, as Tech bumbled themselves right back off the NCAA bubble. When your number of signature, NCAA committee-impressing wins total 0, you have to win the games you should win, and Tech should have beaten the Canes. This one just might hurt worse in five weeks.

While Tech was displaying a remarkable lack of First Half intensity in Miami, the Hoos rebounded from their choke job against the Hokies with an impressive pounding of Carolina, in Dean’s Dome, no less. Were the Hoos in the Dome also chanting, ‘Just like football?’ The inexplicable loss reduced Ol’ Roy to tears during his post-game sob story. While the good liberals at the good ole N&O praised Ol’ Roy for getting in touch with his feminine side,  although Sylvia Hatchell is having a much better year than Ol’ Roy, the reaction among Carolina fans tilted a bit more towards profanity than tears.

While teams from the Commonwealth of Virginia dealt with the results of last Thursday’s meeting in the John in very different ways, what had been the league’s leading team, Maryland, traveled to Clemson. The Terps reacted to the clear backcourt advantage they held with Tiger point guard Demontez Stitt sitting out another game due to injury by committing 22 turnovers and losing. So much for that designation of ‘first place Terps.’

By the time the rubble had settled on the weekend, Duke found itself in first place in the ACC standings. That came mainly as a result of the Devils not playing a league game. Instead, Duke spent Saturday afternoon providing graphic evidence of how much better the top of the Biggie E is over the ACC, this year, by getting hammered at Georgetown. Duke’s sad-sack performance so impressed the attending Obama that he immediately called for an increase in taxes. With Coach K making little secret of his Republican registration, Democrats will take their wins where they can find them these days.

In the midst of all this basketball carnage Little Johnny is still attempting to peddle the ACC football package. The notion of joining with the Pac 10 to present a linked package certainly seems a sound one these days. The basketball, this year, would be especially compelling. And just wait until the USC football program gets Kiffined. Spike or CNBC will be lining up to lay out the big bucks.

The ACC now stumbles into another week of the unexpected, with ‘unexpected’ a code word for ‘mediocrity.’ With seemingly no dominant team capable of making national noise, expect the ‘Just like football’ cheers to grow a little louder.

1 Comment

  1. BobLee — February 2, 2010 #

    As America’s “Premier Soccer & Lacrosse Conference”, Little Johnny has a deal brewing with ESPN54/180 to broadcast “Anson Dorrance getting a haircut” to selected households in Greenland and Guatamala.


Leave a comment

captcha-block *