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Just The Sports: Even Associated Press Is Full of Idiots

Just The Sports

Monday, March 27, 2006

Even Associated Press Is Full of Idiots

Usually I can trust the Associated Press to give me unbiased, unopinionated information. Since most of the time, the AP merely provides game recaps and news stories off the wire, the writers are able to avoid the pitfalls that plague most sports writers. Unfortunately, the AP broke my trust with its recap of the George Mason win over UConn.

They lacked in size, athleticism and history relative to their opponent, but the 11th-seeded Patriots made up for it with tenacity.

Strange this sentence reads. Perhaps backwards it is written.

It is a popular cliche among sports writers, whenever they are discussing underdogs, to describe them as more tenacious or having more heart than their favored opponents or worst of all, being scrappy. Sports writers are even so kind as to extend this cliche to players who are smaller than their peers or white players in a racial minority-dominated sport.

The truth is George Mason did not win this game because they were any more tenacious than UConn. They won it because they played a better game. Tenacity did not help them hit "six straight 3-pointers in the first half" and go "5-for-6 in overtime." Good shooting did. So please stop with the back-handed compliments. Sports writers are probably the same people who go around saying, "Wow, you're articulate for a black guy." Or telling a girl, "You have a cute nose for a Jew."

(George Mason) outrebounded UConn 37-34 even though the Huskies have three starters taller than any of the Patriots' frontcourt players.

Rebounding has nothing to do with height. Nothing at all. It has everything to do with a player's positioning, his ability to block out, being able to read where the ball is going to come off the rim or backboard, and being a quick jumper. If height was the end-all, be-all of rebounding, then I would like the writer of this AP article to explain to me how Dennis Rodman, who at 6'7 was never the tallest man in the NBA, led the league in rebounds per game for 7 straight years.

Patriots guard Tony Skinn said coach Jim Larranaga fired up his players by telling them that UConn's players didn't even know which conference George Mason is in.

Now I don't know if the UConn players really didn't know what conference George Mason is in, but it smells a lot like bullshit to me. Coaches are notorious for lying to their players to get them fired up for a game, and players are even more notorious for being stupid enough to believe the lies. This reminds me of when I was in sixth grade and the manager for the middle school boys' basketball team. In an attempt to make the players feel more adequate about their abilities, the coach of the team informed the players that not even Larry Bird (6'9) could dunk. I, of course, knew this to be a lie since I had seen game film of Larry Bird dunking. After the players had left, I told the coach, probably thinking he didn't know himself, that Larry Bird could dunk and I had seen him do it. The coach informed me that he knew Bird could dunk too, and told me to keep it a secret from the players. I did.

George Mason (27-7), having by far the best season in school history, had never won an NCAA tournament game until it beat half of last year's Final Four - Michigan State and No. 3 seed North Carolina - back-to-back in the first two rounds.

No, George Mason did not beat half of last year's Final Four, you goddamn idiot, because this year's rosters are drastically different from last year's. Michigan State lost one of their best players in Alan Anderson when he graduated and went to the NBA. As for North Carolina, anyone who follows college basketball has had it drummed into their heads from the offseason through the course of the regular season and into the postseason that North Carolina had lost its top seven scorers from last year's Final Four team.

Now it can say it has beaten the last two national champions -Connecticut and North Carolina.

No, it cannot say that. Unless the UConn team it beat Sunday had Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor on it and the North Carolina team it beat last week had Raymond Felton, Sean May, Rashad Mccants, or Jawad Williams on its roster, they can't say shit about having beaten the last two national championships. If George Mason's players are dumb enough to say this, then they, like the person who wrote this article, will be lying to themselves and to the public.


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