Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Michigan/Ohio State. Maize and...more maize?

That was an odd game. Most expected #1 Michigan to bounce back  in a big way after losing in Indiana -- especially going back home to avenge their narrow defeat at Ohio State not long ago. But a blowout it most certainly was not.

The Buckeyes more than held their own, actually leading for the majority of the game, until the Wolverines finally regrouped and managed to send it into overtime. Stranger yet, during the entire overtime period, both teams only managed to score one basket apiece. Luckily for Michigan, there's was of the 3-point variety while OSU's was only a deuce. Throw in one extra made free throw by UM as time was running out, and that pretty well sums it up. Michigan managed to win by their chinny-chin-chins and will likely remain #1 for a while longer, particuarly in lieu of the fact #2 Florida crashed and burned at Arkansas earlier in the evening.

But what was REALLY weird were the uniforms. Not so much Ohio State. They wore their traditional scarlet and gray, but with a bit of a twist. Instead of the players' individual names being stitched across their shoulder blades, all their uniforms just said "Buckeyes". Nothing wrong with that. Actually, in this day and age, where so many athletes want to be show-offs, it should be applauded in the spirit of team unity. But at least we could see the "Buckeyes" thing, along with their numbers.

Not so Michigan. Their uniforms were an eye-popping bright yellow. Along with their socks, and their shoes. They looked like a flock of neon canaries flyng around out there on the hardwood. The Wolverines have always been known as the maize and blue -- so where was the blue?

Certainly not their numbers. They were yellow too, and hard to make out. Not sure, but I think they had their surnames stitched across their shoulder blades. Hi-def TV or not, it was hard to tell because they were yellow as well. So who came up with the bright idea of yellow on yellow on yellow on yellow, etc? Further, despite being annoying, what's the point? Including the Grade-A athletic shoes they no doubt wear, the only thing it accomplished was spending a few thousand unnecessary bucks for new outfits they didn't need.

It's no big secret that the reason it's so expensive to attend a pro game these days is because of the outrageous salaries that are involved with the players' contracts, but that doesn't apply to college games. However, something else might be worth considering.

Some big-time universities like UM continue to lavish their teams with different outfits for different games like it's some kind of fashion show. Yet, aren't these the same universities whose administrators keep telling us how tight money is, and therefore have to keep upping tuition for the students?

Sure, big time football, and to a lesser extent basketball, bring in big time bucks. No doubt they finance lesser sports. Some would even argue the athletic department is not connected to the "general fund" of the university. Education and athletic budgets are separate entities, they say.

That may be so to a degree, but one has to realize it's all the same university. They have assets and liabilities. Revenues and expenditures. Regardless of the paper pushers guarding their fiefdoms, it's eventually all tied into the same pot.

Overall, if they take in more than they spend, they're doing well. If the opposite, they should probably look for another job -- like running for Congress.

Like many Congresspeople, some of these athletic departments seem to think they're entitled to -- well -- entitlements. All this while the average John and Jane Doe are struggling trying to merely survive in today's economy.

If everybody else is cutting corners to make ends meet, then what should be the big problem with these collegiate athletic teams doing the same? 

As far as I'm concerned basketball teams need only two sets of uniforms. One for home, and one for away games. When they wear out, get them new ones. Same with tennis shoes. Start them off with two pair. Like tires, when the tread gets a little thin, replace them. And forget the designer socks. Who cares? They don't need a whole 20 foot deep walk-in closet full of this stuff.

And for crying out loud, whether it's maize and blue, green and white, scarlet and gray -- whatever -- every school out there has 2 colors. Whatever color the uniforms are for any particular game -- the names and numbers should be the opposite. Is that asking too much?

It's like some of these prima donnas have gotten to point where they've forgotten some of life's most basic valuable lessons that their moms probably told them once upon a time.

I can remember some of those pearls of wisdom I once heard as a child. Like, "If you don't have something nice to say -- then shut up, stupid".

Or, "Just because Billy ran away from home doesn't mean you have to stay here".

And my favorite -- "You're not leaving this table until you eat your vegetables. Don't you know there's sober people in China?"

I'm telling ya -- the guys these days don't know how easy they have it.....

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