Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 20 April 2010 19:05Upsets aren’t what they used to be. They used to be rare, something special, something out of the ordinary. When you watch TV or read a newspaper today, they’re a dime a dozen.
Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, maybe its semantics, but it seems that every time the favored team loses, sports reporters are quick to call it an upset. If I had a dollar for every time reporters used the word, I could retire early.
There are definitely times when players, coaches and fans get carried away with trying to attach more cosmic significance to a win than is warranted.
According to one dictionary, an upset is an unexpected victory or defeat. Does that mean when a No. 9 seed beats a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, it is...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 06 April 2010 18:57Some people know they don’t have answers to complex problems. Others like to think they do. Still others are trying to figure out what the questions are.
My opinionated agent, I.M Slick, called recently to offer his perspective on the perplexing issue of the budget crisis facing schools and possible cuts to athletic programs.
Slick: Did I hear that Hillsboro schools might eliminate up to five sports to meet the current budget crisis?
Joe: You heard right. Things are looking bleak.
Slick: And I assume you haven’t offered any solutions?
Joe: Well, no. I don’t have any great solutions.
Slick: Why does the Free Press pay you to write a column? Don’t you know by now that no one looks to you for answers? You only need to offer...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 23 March 2010 18:53Most basketball games are played without incident. Players play, coaches coach and officials officiate. Nevertheless, there are still too many incidents like one that occurred recently during a youth tournament in Burnsville, Minn.
As reported in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the recent incident occurred after a sixth-grade tournament game. A father of one of the players was upset over the timekeeping of the game. He also yelled at the referees and coaches and said they were cheaters. Apparently the man was upset because a referee started the game while his son’s team was slow in sending in a substitution.
If that doesn’t warrant full-blown rage, what does, right?
Youth basketball commissioner Jeff Shand headed the irate man off...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 09 March 2010 20:35March Madness, a college basketball junkie’s heaven on Earth, is finally here. Never mind that the madness spreads into April. March Madness sounds better than March Madness and April Sadness.
There is talk that the NCAA might bump the field from 65 to 96 teams as part of a new TV deal.
Most forget that the NCAA Tournament started with eight teams, expanded to 16 after a decade, then existed for 20 years with just 24 or 25 teams.
Those expansions look miniscule compared to what has happened in the past 40 or so years. The tournament expanded to 32 teams in 1975, to 40 in 1979, 48 a few years later and finally to 64 in 1985. A few years ago it expanded again to include one more team, for a current total of 65 teams.
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 23 February 2010 20:10Making free throws can help sway the outcome of close games. Of course, if your team can’t get to the free-throw line, it’s hard to make them.
Last month, I sought input on free-throw shooting from my panel of three basketball coaching experts—Don Brubacher, director of athletics at Hillsdale College and longtime men’s basketball coach at Tabor College; Rusty Allen, vice president for athletics at Tabor College and former TC women’s basketball coach and former Hesston High School boys’ coach; and Darrel Knoll, longtime head boys’ coach at Hillsboro High School.
In my 36 years of officiating basketball, I wish I had a dollar for every time a player missed a free throw. I remember a high school coach getting more and more...
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