The Press Buffet: Florida in the Final Four

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I saved this one for last because I'm like the rest of the nation - sick of hearing about the Gators. But really, I don't dislike the Gators as a team. It's pretty much Joakim Noah's antics that are wearing thin with me. Especially when he whines about the backlash. If he could keep the pelvic thrusting to a minimum and just play basketball, I wouldn't even mind him so much, because passionate players are what I love about college basketball.

Anyway, this team is full of great players, and most of them don't do anything untoward. So let's ignore my rampant bias and instead go for homer bias, by visiting the Gainesville Sun.

Now... maybe I'm an idiot, but why would Billy Donovan leave a national powerhouse he built with his own two foreheads in order to resurrect Kentucky? For some it would be an ego trip, but I'm assuming it would have to be two metric assloads of money that would lure BD away from the Gators. Nothing else makes sense to me.

Sadly, that's a lot of what the Sun is forced to write about in the run-up to a possible repeat championship:

Hubert Mizell: Pitino may be UF's Trump Card. Mr. Mizell is indulging in the canard that BD would not want to face his former mentor. Quote "Pitino now coaches at the University of Louisville, furious in-state rival of Big Blue. If Donovan signs to jump to Kentucky - no matter how much Billy and Rick might vow to one another to never become engaged in personal headbutting - it would unquestionably happen."

Pat Dooly says UK Circus Not Hard for Gators to Ignore. Well, not until you asked them about it, Pat.

And, operating on the bedrock principles of journalism, Pat knows you never turn down a good fart joke: Humphrey Silent, but Deadly.

And that's about it. Three articles about a team that might repeat as champs. And two of them are partially about the University of Kentucky. The Columbus Dispatch is diving for loose balls and taking charges, while the Sun trots back on defense and makes lazy passes.

This is why people start rooting for champs to lose, fellas.

Lest we forget that the women are playing a Final Four, too, I wanted to share this LZ Granderson article. LZ doesn't get much attention on Page 2, which I think is a blessing. He gets to write about topics we might not have thought about very hard otherwise.

Now, I'm not going to proselytize about women's basketball. I don't really enjoy watching it, either. However, I have immense respect for women who play basketball. They've dedicated themselves to a game that will most likely never earn them a dime. So it's not asking too much for us to give them respect, and, yes, love.

As LZ points out, nothing exposes how small a man can be like making fun of a big girl. Playing hoops is the only way for some of these women to find people who understand and accept them. And that makes Title IX OK in my book.

Best quote: "When me and my girls go to the club, we'll all wear high-heeled shoes and dress real cute, and if you're not man enough to approach me, then obviously you're not man enough to date me." - WNBA player Chantelle Anderson.

In the interests of full disclosure, I'll note that my wife can look me in the eye without putting heels on, so maybe LZ was preaching to the choir here. But here at AA, we try to do our part to promote respect for everyone. Except that schmuck Billy Packer.

See you next week, for more Press Buffet coverage.

I have been Extra P.

Posted by Eric (Extra P.) at 11:43 AM


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