Fanning the flames with excuses
- AP Photo/Gerry BroomeThad Matta and the Ohio State fans will be watching the refs closely Monday night.
We're not here to crown the NCAA Tournament loser or hand out a title to the whiniest fans. But we do have a few predictions about what fans will say after the championship game tonight.
1. The winners will play defense, anticipating and mocking excuses before they're posted.
2. The losers will complain about the refs.
3. Someone will insult Greg Oden or Joakim Noah.
4. The game will not change any fans' minds about the athletic, cultural and academic supremacy of the SEC or Big Ten.
In fairness to the Tar Heels and other fans we called out last week, here's a look back at more than 300 comments left about the games played Saturday.
Armed with a spot in the NCAA Tournament final, Florida and Ohio State fans celebrated and tried to pre-empt excuses. UCLA and Georgetown fans, though, were less likely to lay blame than fans of teams in previous rounds.Final FourFlorida 76, UCLA 66
Different day, different fans, same stripes. UCLA fans were angry at the refs for calls against Arron Afflalo and had a complaint or two about the weakness of the Pac-10.
Refs take 3 UCLA starters out for the majority of the first half and force UCLA to play defense with one hand tied behind their back. And Florida's only up by six? They're lucky they got all the help. They'll need it again Monday. Let's see if Oden and Conley/Lewis each pick up touch fouls in the early moments. Then we'll know the Gators are being escorted to the champion's trophy. -- rhat11
I don't think there are any doubts that UCLA simply doesn't match up very well with Florida's personnel, but I wouldn't discount the role of the officiating. UCLA came out with more energy and momentum from the opening tip, and it was the officiating rather than anything to do with Florida that turned the tide. Whether the calls somewhat evened out numerically by the end of the game is irrelevant. A couple of missed calls against Florida when there are three minutes left and they're up by 15 points doesn't quite compare to three of UCLA's starters having to watch most of the game from the bench due to questionable foul calls. I felt Kansas had a strong advantage over UCLA in talent, but the officials in that game let the players play and UCLA was able to outhustle Kansas. It's too bad UCLA wasn't afforded that same opportunity tonight. It's sad to see someone like Noah get so much attention. Youthful exuberance is one thing, but he's a genuinely irritating person. Winning should be enough; that he needs to pop off like that shows a lack of character. Finally, I noticed there are a disproportionate number of grammatical errors in comments posted by Florida supporters. I'm sorry to see that literacy in the South still lags behind the rest of civilization. SEC! SEC! SEC! -- Imrightandyourenot
Ohio State 67, Georgetown 60
OSU fans came prepared for much more complaining by Georgetown fans than eventually emerged. Other than a Napoleon Dynamite "lucky" moan, a complaint or two about a fouls and some thoughts about Jeff Green, the Hoyas kept quiet
The bored Buckeyes then resumed internecine squabbling over whether the rabid football fan base knows anything about basketball.
It's not about OSU and Florida you had your chance and blew it!!! There were just too many ticky-tack fouls call in this one for some reason especially against the big men and let everyone else play. I agree that Green forgot what he has done to this point. I don't know if if was nerves or what but he should have play the way he did against OVERRATED North Carolina to get here. Well, I got one to the final in my bracket and that was Florida and I'm picking them to win it all again!!!! And I don't even like Florida!!!
The one thing I can't stand about college basketball, let the big men play like big men. Those first two fouls would never be called in the NBA. That was the third or fourth illegal pick that I have seen called when nothing really happened. A little bumping isn't a bad thing, that's what we expect. Ruined what could have been a great matchup.
Wizmj- you beat us by 7, you didn't blow us out! If Green has a normal game and Summers has a normal game we play to the buzzard or we may win the game. We did not have a good night tonight. OSU is good but we should have come to play and we didn't
-- chrislester27Sweet 16 and Elite 8Fans responded passionately to our look at excuses last week. It was a divisive issue, and here are some of the critiques.
1. Isn't part of the point of a "comment" section at the end of such articles to provide a forum for fans to vent/express their opinions about the game? What'd you expect to get? -- mattpapa232323
2. I'm all for giving an opponent credit and agree it's easy to blame things other than the team. But that isn't always the excuse, refs can have a huge impact and blow a game and we need to recognize this too. -- omygoshirule
3. When the team that you've been rooting for all year loses just a game or two away from their goal, a natural inclination is to find a reason why, although often this reason becomes just a way to shift the blame. -- josephypepe
Did we miscategorize complaints and whining, as some suggested? There's a fine line between acknowledging the other team won and rationalizing away your team's loss.
In noting excuses, we were motivated by the volume and quantity of comments that gave no credit to the opponent and had no perspective on the losing team's shortcomings.
Who cares? That's part of being a fan, said two of our favorite supporters for excuses, blame and complaint.
Congrats ESPN. There are those who say "every cloud has it's silver lining"... then there are those who say "crud this cup is 1/25 empty." So what, people are complaining, that's life and it always will be. The enormous amount of complainers likely comes from the many close games that 2 or 3 points would be the difference in. Fans love their teams and almost universally think their are a least a little better than they really are, good they should have faith in their school's players. If not why would I as an Ole Miss fan have watched the Rebs play a single game this season? And after a game if we lost, yeah I'm upset. Sure I hope that I can man up and say we were beaten fairly but sometimes a particularly poor call sticks in one's head. In a week I'll be past it, but the next day at the water cooler? No, I'm going to think of what could have been. People don't need to be ugly and insulting, but I say feel free to mourn your loss a bit (esp in March), after all we mourn the loss of loved ones for months or even years; failed relationships for weeks; expired pets for ... well not long for me; so why not hurt from a lost season too?
I am a USC fan. And whoever wrote the article saying we were "uncharacteristically calm," doesn't know Trojan fans at all. USC fans are probably the perfect balance of having a great time while still caring whether or not their team wins. Leaving that aside, the article is totally stupid if it actually thinks fans are going to change their mind-sets toward the reason for their team's loss. I can say about the USC-UNC game, it is easy to say that a combination of USC beating themselves and questionable officiating caused North Carolina's huge run at the end. Because clearly, when USC was playing its game, it was unstoppable. But hey, who's to say that while USC was way ahead early, North Carolina wasn't beating themselves? And who's to say the officiating during that time of the game wasn't totally skewed toward USC? The point is: casual fans, die-hard fans, CBS analysts, and anyone at all DOES NOT KNOW WHY THE GAME TURNED OUT HOW IT DID. No fan thinks that when they are successful, the other team is beating themselves. The end result is no one actually KNOWS why their team lost. And not only is it easier to make up an excuse, it is much more loyal. Whether it is realistic or not, fans will always think the world of their teams, which I believe is the right thing to do. Personally I think North Carolina was just too deep for USC to keep up with for a full game, because if USC had any other big men worth their weight, Taj Gibson's fouls wouldn't have mattered. But even if that is the right reason USC lost, I still think they were the best team in this tournament, whether that is accurate or not.
We agree. Celebrate your wins. Mourn your losses. And take the time you need, like these two fans, who are still smarting over losses by Xavier and Kansas.
On the contrary of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, I guess everyone just overlooked Xavier in the game against OSU. Look again. They had them beat. I don't want to hear but Justin Cage missed the free throw that would have iced the game, yeah go figure, congrats, you can do the math, it would have. BUT if it weren't for the name GREG ODEN, the muskies would have been rolling into the sweet 16 and who knows where as of now. When OSU missed a free throw and Justin Cage got the rebound, he was basically thrown out of the playing court by Greg Oden, ever heard of an intentional foul ref....but no sorry it is GREG ODEN, don't want to make him mad and the whole sports world because hey, he would be remembered as the ref who called a foul on Greg Oden...that would just be bad, or the fact that the game wasn't called fair in that aspect...which Oden SHOULD have been called for a intentional foul...I mean honestly, who watched the game, he didn't go for the ball which the rule states, he plain and simple tossed Cage out of bounds...and like a normal call, the ref just called the foul....CALL THE GAME HOW IT IS PLAYED! obviously Oden messed up and he lost the game for them IF you would have called what should have been called...But no U, the ref, didn't want to lose the game for them by making the call but wait, ODEN MADE THE FOUL, so call it how it is...That is what is upsetting the sports world that just because you have the name, you are handed everything!!!!! Exclamation point and it's getting out of control...I mean people think, there is no way OSU would lose to X, so we have to make OSU win....All i am saying is that if the RIGHT CALL woulda been made, and Justin Cage missed the free throw like he did, it wouldn't of mattered...X would have gotten the ball back and OSU would have had to foul again...Even if they woulda missed both again, it would have taken more time off the clock, therefore changed the whole game!! So thanks to the ref who can't call a game, we didn't have a Cinderella year, Thanks a lot.
Ok i know that everyone is going to blame the refs for everything and that the excuse "we beat ourselves" is not an excuse it is a fact. I am a die-hard KU fan, i go to games painted up and do all that stupid stuff but it is because i believe in my team. Watching that UCLA disaster made me sick and i don't think that the refs handed that game to anyone i thought it was a good game in the fact that they let them play some and UCLA D was pretty decent. But, i think that KU did beat themselves. How does a team make it that far to choke and go 13 of 33 on dunks and layups. they make 4 more of those and KU wins. that simple. I think that a lot of games have had bad officiating and it does need to get some attention in the offseason but you are always going to have those fans say we got screwed by the refs in any sport so i don't think that you can narrow it down to just one sport i think that the tests and training that the refs have to do should be a bit more strict and in return to the refs i think that they should get paid more if they make it through the new tests. That is just my opinion and what i small-town guy sees out here in Kansas. I also want to say to Julian, Brandon, Mario, Sherron, Sasha, Russell, Darrell please give us another year, don't get greedy, stay to win the big one just to shut people up about not winning it.
Community editor Matt Friedrichs, who attended Kansas games regularly from 1991 to 2000, went to his first game at Allen Field House when Danny Manning was a freshman.
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