Playing the whining, wounded party today are we?
Eddy Landreth dropped a scathing column in the Chapel Hill News during which he hit every Roy Williams hot button issue there has been in the past five year except Stickergate which I am sure he would have gotten to had his editor not cut him off.
"The best team won today," Williams said in a brief statement afterward. "The toughest team, the smartest team, the best-coached team. That's all I have to say."
There is also, no doubt, a good reason why Maryland stayed in the game for a long period of time with one player scoring all its points against a team of "kids" destined to make millions playing pro basketball someday who failed to find a way to guard him.
Of course, we know defensive whiz Marcus Ginyard is sitting out the season as a redshirt because of an injury, so that naturally explains why the rest of a team filled with seniors (who played far superior defense as freshmen) and juniors consistently watches its opponents shoot 50 and 60 percent from the field. The others simply cannot play defense.
"It's the ACC, folks," Williams said recently. "North Carolina cannot shut people out."
Ah, this is true, but is it too much to ask for just a little defense?
Then there is the whole issue of timeouts. Williams did not call a timeout from the time UNC extended the lead to nine until the margin had dissipated to two points and just 37 seconds remained. By then the building had become a sizzling inferno, and Maryland had seized every ounce of momentum.
Maybe college basketball coaches can cash in their unused timeouts the same as Marriott points when they retire, which will extend Williams' stay in Hawaii once he retires to the islands and no longer has to listen to ignorant sports writers and fans question his team or his decisions.
You will just have to pardon this dumb sports writer for thinking back to the 2005 national championship game against Illinois, when the Illini staged a furious comeback in the final moments before what was basically a home crowd in St. Louis. Williams courageously dared to call one of those prized timeouts before it was too late to calm his team and guided it to the title that he wanted more in his little finger than any fan could ever dream of.
Hey, who knows? Williams is not big on having to explain his reasoning to the ignorant masses and sports writers, especially if the questions arise on that radio show he has to do for several hundred grand every Monday night.
Dadgumit, who can blame him? He has to sit and listen to a bunch of stupid people who have the audacity to love his team and his school and want to ask the coach a few questions. What a degrading experience.
The possibility that some of them are trying to find a little joy in a life otherwise burdened by being laid off from their jobs and maybe having their mortgages foreclosed should not factor into a guy getting better than $1.7 million to coach a game for a living having to answer their stupid questions, such as "Coach, why didn't you call another timeout before the lead evaporated to two and your team was stumbling over its feet like a team of 5- and 6-year-olds?"
But then again, what do any of us know? Whether we type words for newspapers and the Internet, we're just part of the ignorant masses. Williams and his team will surely work it out, and we'll all just have abandoned ship too early once again, as he likes to say.
Let me say upfront this comes off as petty, whiny and generally like a temper tantrum from a member of the media who is acting like Roy urinated in his cereal bowl this morning. Seriously, this is the alleged high standard of journalism bloggers supposedly do not approach? At THF, we have discussed at length Roy's penchant for hoarding timeouts(Dean did the same thing, funny how Eddy forgets that). We have hashed out the defensive issues as well as the recent stumbles in answering questions from fans and the press.
You know what?
At no point in either what I have written or in the majority of the comments written has anyone on this blog presented the shrill, woe is me, hold my breath, stomp my feet, bile spitting rant Landreth presents here. I don't say that to toot my horn as much as to commend the THF community for approaching the issues with respect, common sense and without resorting to the abject negativity of the message boards. This worthless screed by Landreth is message board fodder because it fits perfectly in with the kinds of rants that have been seen on Inside Carolina lately. At THF, the content is much more circumspect which is credit to all of you out there for driving the discussion that way and being focused on the relevant information.
Along those lines it should be pointed out that if your intention is to write about the Heels' struggles on defense why on earth are you yammering on about the failure to call timeouts in certain situations or dragging up the call-in show gaffes? This is like having an argument with your spouse and instead of focusing on the topic at hand, one or the other starts dragging up past indiscretions for the sole intent of scoring points in a fight. This is no different. Landreth is not writing a column to talk about the Heels defensive woes. Landreth is writing an attack column meant to land zingers and garner him "hey, right on Eddy" emails in his inbox.
This kind of garbage is neither constructive nor should be it considered journalism. While some might say I do not criticize the coaches and players enough, I would like to think it is because I am careful to make sure such criticisms are constructive as well as being couched with relevant facts. The comments section seems to validate that. I also believe that if I ever wrote anything like the above piece I would be lambasted as just another stupid blogger who does not know anything. Funny how an objective journalist can do it just fine. The Old Media Guard says that bloggers like myself do not have the training and journalistic standards/integrity required to be taken seriously. If this column is any indication, I am not sure Eddy Landreth does either.
And one more thing. Off you go Eddy. Say hi to Heather for me.