The Republic of Roundball [Louisville Magazine]

Print

This article appears in the December 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
To subscribe visit: https://www.loumag.com/subscribe.aspx

They weren’t talking about the latest football practice at the nearby university, or the local high school football powerhouse (still don’t understand why Trinity didn’t receive more local love), or the NFL.
They were talking about prospects for next year’s basketball teams at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. And taking calls! People were interested! In August!


For this Arkansas boy, where football is not sport but religion, I felt as if I’d landed on another planet. I just assumed everybody spent late summer and fall considering the merits of run blitzes and zone blocking. Heck, I just assumed everybody spent the entire year doing that.

Now that I’m slowly converting to basketball statehood — is it anything like changing political parties? — I’ve noticed a few distinct differences between pigskin territories and roundball commonwealths:


• If you live in a football state, you feel compelled to tackle somebody when you hear a whistle. If you live in a basketball state, you feel compelled to complain to a referee when you hear a whistle.

• If you live in a football state, Saturday is the high holy day, beginning with early-morning tailgating and ending with post-game celebrating or sorrow drowning (both involve the same activity). If you live in a basketball state, you learn to be flexible, paying attention to any night except Sunday — and pretty much all of March.

• If you live in a football state and the team is winning, the head coach is referred to not by his last name but simply, reverentially, as Coach. Like God.  If you live in a basketball state and the team is winning, the head coach is referred to by his first name, as if you meet for beer on a regular basis. (If you live in a football or basketball state, and the team is losing, the head coach is soon to be referred to in the past tense.)

• If you live in a football state, which means you live in the South, summer’s oppression is alleviated only by the echo of pads hitting pads in the humid days of early August. If you live in a basketball state, summer, which begins after the NCAA championship, is just too damn long.

• If you live in a football state, basketball is but a diversion between the two real sports seasons — football and spring football. If you live in a basketball state, football is kinda cute.

• If you live in a football state, you can find your favorite coach’s game-day attire at the local sporting goods store. If you live in a basketball state, you can’t afford your favorite coach’s game-day attire. (Is that Armani?)

• If you live in a football state, you think media coverage of recruiting has gotten way out of hand. If you live in a basketball state, you think media coverage of recruiting is the only way you’ll know how next year’s team is shaping up.

• If you live in a football state, a three-pointer is a failed touchdown drive. If you live in a basketball state, a three-pointer is a thing of beauty topped only by a monster slam dunk.

• If you live in a football state, you know that one loss could cost your team a shot at the championship. If you live in a basketball state, a loss is just a learning experience, a character-builder, revenge fodder for next time — because there is almost always a next time.

• If you live in a football state, a running team is boring. If you live in a basketball state, a running team is thrilling.

• If you live in a football state, victories over hated rivals are more important than championships. If you live in a basketball state, it’s all about the championships, baby. (But beat UK/U of L anyway.)

• If you live in a football state, great guard play will get you three yards and a cloud of dust. If you live in a basketball state, great guard play will get you to the Final Four.

• If you live in a football state, your old-school heroes are named Bronco and Bubba. If you live in a basketball state, your old-school heroes are named Dr. Dunkenstein and His Airness.

• If you live in a football state, you’re never quite sure who is really No. 1 at the end of the season. If you live in a basketball state, No. 1 is the last team cutting down the nets — no questions asked.

• If you live in a football state, the season’s almost over, your team is out of the race for the national championship and it’s a long way till two-a-days. If you live in a basketball state, life is good again and, come March, you know that anything can happen.

Like us on Facebook!
Subscribe to our RSS Feed!
Follow us on Twitter!
Add us to your circles on Google+!
Follow us on Pinterest!
Follow us on Tumblr!

Search Louisville Events

More Events | Post an Event | Event Map
wed
23
thu
24
fri
25
sat
26
sun
27
mon
28
tue
29

Search Louisville Restaurants

Louisville Independent Business Alliance

 

Copyright © 2014 Louisville.com, All Rights Reserved
137 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Suite 102, Louisville, KY 40202
502-625-0100
Mobile Site