Sunday, April 2, 2017

South Carolina wine/whine

First of all, congrats to the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks (the very name of which would seem to be quite the misnomer) for winning the NCAA women's hoops championship. Maybe they'll celebrate with a little wine somewhere along the way. Shhh. We'll ignore those pesky minor in possession laws in this case. But keep them away from the Mad Dog. We mustn't have them running amok stark naked all around town. That just wouldn't do.

And now a word from our sponsors. Well, one age-old mystery appears to have been solved. A certain fast food franchise that specializes in chicken and features a colonel has finally come clean in their latest barrage of TV ads. Ever wonder why their prices have gone up so dramatically over the years? Turns out, that stuff really IS made out of gold. I KNEW it. Good coleslaw though.

For all the wine the, ahem, Lady Gamecocks may enjoy, their male counterparts, specifically their head coach, has come across with a classic whine of his own.

Enter Frank Martin in a post-game press conference after his team fell to Gonzaga. Poor Frank was all choked up, holding back the tears. This was the same hot-headed, tough talking, referee berating coach we've seen all year in full blown alpha-male mode? Now reduced to a whimpering puddy-tat? Oh my. The poor dear has obviously forgotten what got him and his team to this point.

Going back to when the NCAA tournament began, the South Carolina men's team came in as a #7 seed. Many thought they wouldn't survive their opening round game against #10 Marquette. But they did and quite handily, winning by a whopping 20 points.

Surely they wouldn't beat the always mighty Dukies a couple days later, right? No way are they knocking off a #2 seed, but guess what? They did indeed, by a semi-comfortable 7 points. On to the Sweet Sixteen.

Up next was #3 Baylor. The G-cocks were already living on borrowed time. Da Bears would surely put them in their places. Nope. Carolina rolled by 20 again. Amazing.

On to the regional finals where #4 Florida awaited. C'mon now, this magic carpet ride had gone on long enough. Will somebody please bring these guys back to earth? Not the Gators. They went down by 7 as well, a recurring theme. 20, 7, 20, 7, and all improbable victories for the Gamecocks. Especially the last three.

Holy cow, they made it to the Final Four. A miracle in itself. No WAY were they supposed to get that far. A #7 seed slogging through all those heavyweights? Please.

In the national semis, it certainly didn't get any easier, given #1 seed Gonzaga was waiting. And Carolina gave them a helluva game, nip and tuck, before finally succumbing by a meager four points.

They should be proud of what they accomplished this year, not have their coach get up on the podium and wimp out with a whine like his puppy dog just got ran over.

Frank, Frank, get a grip brother. Millions are watching you. Preps, Trump, Congress, and other children. This is no time to turn into a blubbering sack of weakness. Pound that fist, stick that jaw out, keep a stiff upper lip, and cuss out a reporter just on general principles. Know that for a short time you and your team were the few, the proud, the chosen, the CORPS dammit, not the corpse. Like whine and wine, there's a big difference. Needless to say this is not good for future morale. Nobody wants to see a drill sergeant turn into a Richard Simmons right before their eyes on TV. What would your potential high school recruits think of such a sorry spectacle?

But if all else fails, give the dude a gallon of Mad Dog. In a couple hours he'll be out of his mind and not know what he's doing either. Or care -- at all. No more sad tears. He'll be tearing something up somewhere.

Or he could have a sip of bubbly with Dawn Staley, coach of the women's team. Perhaps that would be a bit more appropriate.

Either way, South Carolina hoops seems to have got caught up in one form of wining/whining or another.

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