Once again the great sports analyst, nephew Bob, has failed to comment on his beloved alma mater’s loss, this time to the really evil Northern Team. It seems to me if one can provide pregame analysis with such assuredness, one should be able to suck it up when the team loses and tell us what went wrong. Bob’s keen sports analysis comes form his long involvement in athletics. As I recall, he took bowling (or was it ballroom dancing?) as his P.E. requirement in college and aced the course.
In any event, my own basketball involvement (watching games) had mixed results last Saturday. I watched two live games and two TV games. On the plus side, the Blue team handily beat the Orange team and my 10 year old grandson scored a couple of points. In the other “live” game, the White team may have fared a little less well over the Green team, though my 7 year old grandson scored twice in that game making it, also, a plus game for me. The 7 year old’s “league” doesn’t keep score (perhaps a good thing for us) and it is a little loose in its rule requirements. There are no double dribbles, no walking or “steps” (they often just pick up the ball and run with it), and (in both games) there is a rule that you cannot take the ball out of the other team player’s hands. You can only guard with your hands straight up. All well and good for learning, I guess, but frustrating for grandfathers. The result is that I can only attend one game a season. That’s all my daughter will allow and the YMCA that runs the program probably wouldn’t let me back in for any additional games anyway. I guess yelling at the ref in 7 year olds’ and 10 year olds’ games is a little over the top.
In any event, my basketball fix was off to a pretty good start. Then I came home to the television. My alma mater, which leads its conference, was beaten by Oral Roberts. I didn’t even know Oral Roberts has sports teams. (Well, maybe I did.) Then I watched the whole bitter struggle of the OSU/Michigan game. (Did the Buckeyes ever lead?) I don’t understand how they lose with so much talent. Coaching? Matta is a good coach, I think. But how does he allow those guys to be so flat?
Which reminds me of my own coaching career. A man of absolutely no sports talent, (at least Bob had bowling) I did not hesitate to coach my kids basketball and soccer teams and was even on the board of a peewee football league for awhile. Bob can affirm that I bought all of the necessary literature on how to coach these sports. Unfortunately, coaching, like playing, requires something more than reading “how to” books.
My claim to fame is that I coached Grant Hill, a star at Duke and subsequently great professional basketball player, when he was in fifth or sixth grade. In our league all players were assigned to teams by the “commissioner” and all kids had to play at least one quarter. The mix was interesting. There were those reminiscent of myself – uncoordinated but eager, those who wanted to be at home with a book and Grant Hill a smart, athletic, talented kid. As a testament to Grant’s interest in the sport and his focus on the game he continued to excel in, I tell you that our team lost every game except the one when I was out of town and Grant’s father (Calvin Hill, the great All-Pro football player) coached the team. He probably hadn’t even read those books I had on coaching.
So, I don’t know why the Buckeyes fell down in the last two Michigan games. I hope that our resident analyst will be brave enough to provide us an explanation if he can overcome his funk from the loss.