Babylinks: Orange Crush

by March 07, 2007
3

– This time last year, we were all suffocated in that Gerry McNamara coverage. Plagued by it maybe? Whatever — insert a verb that you hear in a morgue and we were ‘that’ with Gerry McNamara because of ESPN’s hearty mancrush on their boy-next-door point guard.

And I remember then thinking how ridiculous it was that this kid who spent an entire season holding Syracuse back by launching threes (which was their inevitable downfall in the postseason) was now the temporary posterboy for college basketball. I also remember rooting for him because rooting against him in public was the equivalent to standing outside a war protest with a sign that says, “I SUPPORT THE WAR AND NOT THE TROOPS.”

He had reached that annoyance pinnacle that is usually associated with people who have played for tens of years — the Brett Favres, the Karl Malones, the Ray Bourques (whoever the hell that is) — of the “underdog who everyone roots for.” This idea is nonsensical in its conception: an underdog is only an underdog because he is under-appreciated by an overwhelming majority, thus if a majority were to root for him he is no longer an underdog but a vastly overrated untalented player.

Or, calculus aside, Gerry McNamara was very OK at best and everyone rooted for him because of it.

And it’s proven now. He’s just tearin’ up the D-League with his mediocrity, 12.1 per in 28.8 minutes. His Syracuse team, not tied down by any one player’s mandatory fifty attempted threes, advanced in the Big East tournament today.

But, with all that said, I found myself watching two Big East tournament games waiting for someone to launch a three from two steps behind NBA-three range or for, really, anything different to happen. Maybe ESPN has completely dehumanized me into a human interest story-craving machine who begs for a graphic about Hasheem Thabeet’s favorite Sunday morning cartoon, but I think I came to a sad realization today.

America doesn’t have this year’s Golden Boy yet.

We better get on this quickly. We’ve got a week until the tournament and only a couple of conference tournament games left to play.

Nick Fazekas? Too high profile. Acie Law? Too… good. Ditto Durant, Oden, anyone with the last name Wright. Dominic James? Somehow, like an Olson twin, regressing at the age of 19.

Somehow, it’s starting look like this year our country won’t rally around the overunderdog.

And I think I’m feeling a little nostalgic for Gerry McNamara already.

– Oh, and one last thing (I swear), the skintight alligator tights Nike uniforms just looked like normal uniforms today. They aren’t as vomit-inducing as they look in the press release here, where Sam and I originally didn’t even think they were real.

– Off to the Celtics-Rockets game tonight (game notes from the bleachers?), then a big profile on Winthrop and tons of posts the rest of the week to give the poor folks hibernating in the SLAMDome some post slack. So get used to me and making fun of last year’s white players that I swear I could take one-on-one.