Remembering History…

Far too much time and “intellectual energy” was spent yesterday pondering the questions:

    Was the ending of the UNC/Villanova game on Monday night the best ending to an NCAA Final Game ever?

    Was the UNC/Villanova Final Game on Monday night the best NCAA final Game ever?

Back when I was working for a living, a colleague and I used to lament something we called the “tyranny of the inbox”. What we meant was that we could allow ourselves to be so caught up in the issues/” crises” of the moment that we lost perspective on what was far more important in the long term. My colleague and I used to remind each other that we needed to step back from the issues that were “immediate” once in a while lest we lose track of the issues that were truly important. It is in that spirit that I offer this observation…

Monday’s UNC/Villanova game was a great game; the outcome was always in doubt and the teams played well. Neither team played in a way that it was out there to lose the game. Nevertheless, to say that the game itself or the eventual outcome was significantly “better” than these games is a stretch:

    NC State beating “Phi Slamma Jamma” on a dunk with no time remaining on the game clock.

    Villanova beating Georgetown by shooting about 88% from the floor for an entire game.

    St Joe’s beating Utah in quadruple OT in the consolation game in 1961.

And in a game that far too many of the sports talk radio hosts are waaay too young to remember:

    In 1957, UNC played Kansas in the NCAA Final Game. UNC earned a slot in the game with a triple OT win over Michigan State. The Final Game went to Triple OT and UNC won by a score of 54-53.

    If you want drama and a game decided by the slimmest of margins, you have to consider that Final Game as the prototype by which any future games might be measured.

    I watched that game on a small screen black-and-white TV

Do not allow the folks who produce sports talk radio or the “splashy” ESPN TV shows to make you think that anything that happened before 1980 never really happened. Those long-ago games did happen and some of them produced equally exciting endings as the one we all witnessed on Monday night of this week. I do not mean to detract in even the slightest way from Villanova’s win or Kris Jenkins’ shot – – but there is a long-term context to the NCAA Tournament that must be considered when affixing superlative labels such as “greatest” or “best” or …

I suspect that I may get myself in hot water with this next commentary – – but that has never deterred me in the past. Consider these two recent jury verdicts:

    Erin Andrews got a $55M judgement in her case against Marriot because a jury decided that Marriot made it easy for a demented stalker to get a room next to hers where he could take videos of her in the nude which then found their way onto the Internet.

      For the record, I think the “videographer” in the case is a slimeball when/if he ever achieves the acme of his human potential.

    “Hulk Hogan” got a $115M judgment in his case against Gawker for a sex tape that they publicized involving “Hogan” and the wife of a former friend of his who set up/endorsed the sexual encounter and recorded the “event” without the consent of either party to the sexual acts.

      For the record, the person who arranged this assignation and then covertly recorded it is the “real” bad person here. The folks who put the recording on the Internet seeking profits from its publication took an economic gamble that seems not have paid off for now.

Once more for the record, I have NOT viewed either of the tapes that were part of the evidence in these matters. Both of them involve private matters that I believe are none of my damned business. Therefore, I cannot – and will not – comment on any particulars involved in either court case.

On the surface, both Erin Andrews and “Hulk Hogan” deserved to win the suits they brought in court to my mind. Were I on the jury in either case, I am virtually certain that is how I would have voted. If a person – man or woman – is in a hotel room and is dressing himself/herself, that person should be relatively certain that their dressing behaviors are not being surreptitiously recorded so that others might “peek in”. If two adults are engaged in a consensual sexual act, they too should be relatively certain that their activities are not being recorded for a future sharing with “whomever” on the Internet.

And now that I have made my position on both cases rather clear, I find it interesting that there seems to be a “pay disparity” between male victims and female victims here.

    The “male victim” here – “Hulk Hogan” received a judgment that is 110% more than the “female victim” – Erin Andrews received.

    Judge for yourself which victim was more improperly violated. I cannot make myself think that either of them was “violated” twice as much as the other was…

Finally, consider this comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:

“NBA referee Joey (Uncle Fester) Crawford is retiring. Divest in technical fouls. They’ll plummet.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

4 thoughts on “Remembering History…”

  1. My opinion is similar to yours, but I also think Erin Andrews’ innocent act of undressing in her hotel room was something Marriott unwittingly aided. Gawker knew what they were doing.

    1. Doug:

      I am confident that Marriott was an “accidental enabler” there. I am confident that Gawker knew exactly what it was doing and chose to do it. I am confident that Hulk Hogan and the woman involved there were unwitting as to the fact of their being observed/recorded and that the person who set up the machinery to make the recording knew exactly what he was doing.

    1. Steve:

      Ed Hardin is correct in saying that the NCAA is going to inflict damage on UNC in at least basketball and football – and perhaps some other non-revenue sports. He is also correct in saying that this will hurt UNC’s ability to recruit in the short term. Personally, I think he overestimates the long-term negative effect here. My sense – from afar to be sure – is that there are more than enough “UNC-to-the-core” folks in the state and in the area to resurrect the basketball program as soon as the NCAA limitations/punishments expire.

      Thanks for the link. I would not have seen the commentary without it.

Comments are closed.