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April 02, 2004

I was watching a little bit of the NCAA basketball tournament last week, and noticed something that got me thinking. As a side note, I want to be clear that I'm talking about the men's basketball tournament. I make this point for those of you who, like me, find it maddening to see on the bottom of the ESPN tickertape that Louisiana Tech beat N.C. State, only to discover that they're talking about chick ball. Perhaps I'm just reacting to the concerted push by enlightened types to get me to pretend that differences between the sexes are socially constructed, but I prefer men's basketball. I can only get so excited about a basketball league where the big news for the month is that some thyroid case dunked the ball.

Back to the point. I'm watching a game, and there's only seconds left, and the team that is down has just hit a three-pointer to come within a point. It's time to call a time out. I know it, the announcers know it, the players know it, and you can be darn sure that the coach knows it, too. The camera pans out to the crowd, and there's a guy in the stands calling a time out. I don't mean that he's expressing his superfluous opinion that a time out is needed. (How could a man with his own website ridicule superfluous opinion, after all?)

No, I mean the guy is making the hand motions for a time-out. A 30-second time-out, to be exact, which is signified by tapping the top of one's shoulders with one's fingertips in a manner that suggests the beginning of a Broadway dance routine. The guy is literally motioning to the ref for a time-out.

I don't know why, but that image has stayed with me as something so ridorkulous, so dorkilicious, so dorkifiably dorkulent, that I just can't help but crack a smile whenever I think about it. It's as if someone took the nerdiest air guitar moves, the stupidest in-law's political opinions, and the attitudes of one of those childless, godless, unmarried Women's Studies professors, wrapped them all into one person, and slapped a Star Trek t-shirt on him.

Which just goes to show that sometimes, comedy really is tragedy plus time. Or, in this case, tragedy plus a time-out.

Posted by Woodlief on April 02, 2004 at 09:17 AM


Out of curiousity, were you yelling at the tv? :)

Oh, and as far as CHICK college ball ... I'm from Tennessee. Pat Summit's girls could easily out-play most boys teams. GO VOLS!

Posted by: Lucy at April 2, 2004 9:48 AM

I'm sure the various 7th grade boy's clubs in the area are trembling in their sneakers at the thought.


Posted by: Tony at April 2, 2004 11:05 AM

"Ridorkulous" - good one!

So Tony, it must be tough to watch the Final Four unfold year after year without seeing any Carolina blue, eh? Is Roy Williams really the answer to the "will the next Dean Smith please step up" question? Those are some mighty big shoes to fill, though. UCLA has been searching for the next John Wooden for 30 years.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at April 2, 2004 11:14 AM

Have no doubts about the humor value of this piece, Tony. It's very funny. But then again, I'm a guy who thinks, despite being taught otherwise, that it's a hell of a lot funnier to laugh at people rather than with them.

Posted by: jim at April 3, 2004 9:08 AM


I must admit, I am a bit embarrased by this post. If you had seen me watching Duke lose in the last two minutes of their final four game lat night, I can't imgaine what you would have said about me:)


Posted by: John at April 4, 2004 12:01 PM