Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Time Out For Tourney

I wouldn't blame readership for being frustrated with this blog. I rarely ever post, I'm not here, then I'm back, now I'm gone again for it is that lone time of year that I'm surprised to see once again. Seems like years ago (it was) I thought life and this world would already be over.

So here we are again, another year of high-school tournament action for the next two weeks with the added bonus of the local branch of the state U likely making the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. I'm having mixed feelings about the high-school ball because the state finally got its way and the field has expanded from three divisions to four. Apparently western Massachusetts finally relented to state pressure.

At first I thought great, more games, but then realized it upset the whole balance. For one thing, a whole chunk of central Mass. teams are now included, so what happened was what used to be a West-Central match-up in the state semis is now basically a Western Mass. championship game even thought the central teams played a totally different schedule. They are not happy, either, feeling they got screwed in the seedings and they probably did. Anyhow, that makes following the subsequent state finals less interesting to me, although it does mean an extra day of games out here.

Then I checked the schedules and it's looking like there is nowhere to go this Thursday. With the expanded fields and divisions many girl's games that would have been in-region are now much further away. I could go down to Northampton again, but I'm tired of going down there every year -- especially after Pittsfield was robbed by the officials in last years quarterfinal -- and then I got to thinking, inclusion of all those central teams means potentially taking a spot in the finals away from a deserving western school. Not too happy about that, and I'm sure some of the central teams are feeling the same way. But it is what it is.

So it looks like another month off from blogging here. Hope the world is still in one piece if I come back. Truth is I'm sick of saying the same things over and over and over, year after year after year. The psychopaths in charge of the planet need to do their ritual of self-destruction. The time for interventions has long passed, it's been eight years of screaming interventions with none listening. I do look forward to seeing them in hell so I can feast upon their innards, but that's a post for another time.

UPDATE (Feb. 28): Should have went to the game last night, but am going to one tonight.

UPDATE (Mar 1): Probably should have stayed home and listened on radio. Game was one of the worst officiated games I ever saw.  It wasn't just the confusion surrounding the shot, it was the inattentiveness they showed all night. I suppose referees can have an off night, too, but when it's the last game of careers for some kids and a state-sanctioned tournament.... anyhow, after those events I received a warning from police because my voice projects well and loud. I must say the policeman that came up to where I was sitting was very respectful. Told me he understood and didn't even flinch as I lightly grabbed him by the shoulders and issued my complaints and that the kids had worked so hard. Told me to calm down a bit and I told him he wouldn't be back up there. By then I was as deflated as the team.

Feel bad about everything now, and it was all put aside during the ride home. After the game is over and they leave, I leave it all on the court. I don't follow people or any of that. In fact, I'm one of the first ones to get out of the gym, win or lose. I've been on the other side before and -- literally -- feared for my life at a game years ago. I applauded a shoot clock violation in the wrong section, cheering my boys' good defense, and the crowd came down on me. I'm not exaggerating things; I really was worried about getting to the car that night. Nothing happened, and no one said a word, but the steps seemed like forever. Strange thing is I have cheered for their team before and after that incident. Part of the league.

 I suppose what bugs me the most is you can't even get fairness or justice at a high school basketball game. Maybe you never could, but given the rank rot and corruption across all institutions in AmeriKa these days one hope it wouldn't bleed down to this level. Remarked to my friend that we do a better job policing ourselves in pick-up. He made some incisive comments about how the officials never offered an explanation for the changed call, even if it was the right one. They left us all guessing, and that only added to the frustration.

There will be games every night next week and a slate of six on Saturday, but I don't know how many I will attend. Two are on nights I play basketball myself, and with the ending of my career in sight (next time could always be my last, but hopefully not, knock wood) I will likely choose to participate in an activity than spectate and observe. Maybe I should apply that philosophy to this blog.