Thursday, February 14, 2008

Welcome to our newest guest blogger, PMM

UNCG and the Dribbling Esoterica

‘[The matador] is performing a work of art and he is playing with death, bringing it closer, closer, closer, to himself, a death that you know is in the horns because you have the canvas-covered bodies of the horses on the sand to prove it. He gives the feeling of his immortality, and as you watch it, it becomes yours. Then when it belongs to both of you, he proves it with the sword.
Ernest Hemingway, Death in The Afternoon

For three years, the Davidson Wildcats have dwarfed conference competition. The ‘Cats boast a 42-6 record against conference opponents in that time. Considering the notable senior jetsam two years ago in Ian Johnson, Brendan Winters, and Kenny Grant, followed by the spawn of Stephen Curry and his continued maturation in team-play, the Davidson basketball program is, in terms of raw statistics, truly in a league of its own.

Davidson’s efforts to claw itself from the Chateau d’If that is the Southern Conference have been, of course, well-documented. “When I was a kid growing up you went to the park where the action was,” Coach McKillop told the world through USA Today in October. “You didn't go to the park where you could dominate the court.” After pitching themselves as rather unpalatable meat before legendary bad boys UCLA, North Carolina , Duke, and N.C. State, the ‘Cats entered 2008 not licking their wounds, but finding instead resolve and fortitude in their new out-of-conference keloids.

So, as Davidson continues to cruise undefeated in this calendar year, the team has become tasty fodder among national media-types who plunge themselves into the chilly existentialism of what it means to have a “good loss,” whether Davidson scheduled over-ambitiously, and WWTSCD (What Would The Selection Committee Do?), among other dribbling esoterica. While sportswriters and broadcast media were convening last week to draw up a mock draft committee selection, somewhere beyond, Jean Paul Sartre snapped his pipe in two.

The Selection Committee wields a blunt cleaver. Like the veal calf who only knows dark, solitary confines, when the national media opens our crate and shines its bright lights on us with discussion of potential at-large bids, Davidson fans rush forth, naively drooling for some warm embrace. Inevitably, though, we are to meet the slaughter.

It is by no means an uncommon sentiment for college basketball fans to fuse with their team in moments of both joy and anguish. In the instance of at-large bids, however, and unlike their fans, the Davidson players appear stoic. Generally, the team has displayed in its most recent outings a fervor previously unseen this season. The ‘Cats are hustling for forty minutes of physical basketball, and maintain sizeable leads from start to finish. In short: for the past six weeks the players have appeared myopic, concerned only with dismantling the unfortunate Southern Conference foe before them.

Why is it, then, that we fans who rise and fall with every emotion of the team, cannot do the same? Why do we relentlessly look ahead to the Madness, prematurely resenting a Selection Committee denial? Why do we become so terribly chaffed and distracted by every jot we receive in the news, regardless of its absurdity?

Perhaps, we Davidson fans have now the perfect chance to emulate our hard-court idol. Beginning this evening at UNC-G, regional television coverage features the ‘Cats in all but two of the remaining games on the schedule. Next week, Davidson will shine forth across the time zones with consecutive appearances on ESPN2. The next ten days afford fans the opportunity to relish in this glorious moment in Davidson basketball dominance. Focusing on this spot of time, we may finally realize Steph and the ‘Cats control destiny more like Hemingway’s matador than quivering veal calves.


Anonymous said...

Paging Immanuel Kant...paging Immanuel Kant...presumptious esoteric cleanup on aisle 3

Anonymous said...

So which is it -- naively drooling or prematurely resentful?

It's your opinion piece. You can criticize us any way you want. Although you might want to try to figure out which it is before you share it with us.

WB said...

I think the guest blogger's point about our "naively drooling" was that many of us, as fans, want to believe that we will get a fair shake from the NCAA Selection Committee. On the other hand there is the other extreme faction of fans that are "prematurely resentful" of the process, in believing that Davidson will get the shaft by the committee.

I don't think his statement was critical, but was pointing out the two extremes of our fanbase. All you have to do is surf the message board to see this every day.

At the end of the day, we're all on the same team here.

Go Cats!!

Anonymous said...

Really now, everyone should just take a deep breath and try to avoid having expressions of devotion to the Cats become ready-made bulletin board fodder for Southern Conference coaches. Please keep in mind that our so-called in conference dominance includes a last second win over Elon and this week's miracle comeback at UNCG. The lads are, in some cases, still teenagers, so expecting perfection is entirely unrealistic, and needlessly can diminish their achievement, should our SC record be 19-1 or 18-2. We should enjoy every game DC plays this wonderous season, irrespective of the final score. The team plays the game the way it was meant to be played - unselfishly, as a complete team effort, fundamentally sound in every phase of the game. KAO '71

Anonymous said...

Yes, welcome to our newest blogger.